If it were up to our kids, their diet would consist of french fries and cheese pizza. And, a promise to never serve then greens? Well, we’d be parents of the year. Sure, our little foodies don’t quite yet get why we don’t give into their demands, but most of us understand the necessity of a healthy and nutritious diet (and have the means to provide that to our family). But for millions of children in the U.S., a healthy diet and lifestyle is not a reality. For those 16 million food insecure kids, they need help. Stat. To the rescue? The Full Effect, a new social impact program created by Plum Organics. We recently spoke to Plum’s CEO and Co-Founder (and Bay Area dad), Neil Grimmer about The Full Effect and his mission to change the way kids eat.
The idea is born
You may know Plum as your go-to resource for organic baby food and toddler snacks, but their mission to provide pure and tasty ingredients at baby’s first bite goes beyond their delicious products. Neil tells us, “We started with this idea that getting the very best food at the very first bite is how we were going to make a very big impact.” Even though Neil acknowledges Plum has succeeded in making once ignored foods like purple carrots quinoa and greek yogurt a part of many kids’ diets, their business is still not reaching a lot of families. In fact, 16 million children in America go without regular meals with 2.4 million of those in California alone.
In an effort to reach kids who aren’t receiving regular nutritious meals, Plum released a new product — the Super Smoothie — a BPA-free pouch specifically designed for food insecure babies and toddlers. Plum worked in conjunction with doctors and nutritionists to create the Super Smoothie, which features super foods like spinach, carrots, apples, white beans, oats, and chia. All of these super foods aim to provide an alternative to the carbs, sodium, and fatty foods found in a food insecure diet. Neil tells us that Plum pledges to give away half a million pouches in 2013 alone. So, you have the Super Smoothie. Now what?
Targeting food insecure babies and toddlers cannot be accomplished by just one individual effort so The Full Effect makes it a priority to partner with businesses on both a local and national level to infiltrate the communities where kids are most in need. Neil explains that The Full Effect is working in food banks, nonprofits, and even a Bay Area homeless prenatal program to attain direct access to families in need.
Sustaining awareness and excitement
So The Full Effect has the idea, the resources, a sweet product, but sustaining the excitement and awareness of the program over time is certainly a challenge. When we asked Neil about the longterm goals of the program he explained, “It’s important to make The Full Effect relevant to moms and dads who are Plum fans. This [food insecure babies and toddlers] is a topic that any parent can get their head around. The next step is giving them simple and easy ways to get involved.” And what are these easy ways? Social media for one. Spreading the word via your social media status is a huge boost to Plum’s efforts to get the word out about The Full Effect.
Let’s talk family food rituals
Whether Neil is expounding upon The Full Effect or talking about Plum’s products, it’s obvious that his love for food (and for teaching healthy eating habits to kids) is what his passion. Neil, a dad to two girls (nine and six years old), tells us that he’s inspired by his daughters and is all about having fun with food. His favorite family food ritual? Sushi parties! Neil tells us that making sushi is fun and provides just enough customization that kids love. There’s nothing like being proud of what you eat!
Tell us about what you think of The Full Effect program in the comment section below!
Story by Erin Lem; photos courtesy of Plum Organics