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Fruits and vegetables prescribed to kids

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Beginning this month, children ages 2 to 17 who visit with a provider at Westfields Hospital & Clinic, will receive a $10 prescription to buy fruits and vegetables at Family Fresh Market. Stillwater Medical Group’s Somerset Clinic is also participating in this program. Prescriptions from that clinic can be redeemed at Econo Foods.

The Fruit and Veggie Rx Program is part of the PowerUp initiative to make better eating and physical activity easy, fun and popular, so that youth can reach their full potential. Brian Cress, MD, a pediatrician at Westfields Hospital & Clinic and Stillwater Medical Group said, “We hope that by writing these prescriptions, it sends a powerful message to families about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables. A 2014 Centers for Disease Control study indicated that 60 percent of children didn’t eat enough fruit to meet daily recommendations and 93 percent didn’t eat their daily vegetable requirements.

“Family Fresh Market and Econo Foods are committed to providing fresh, high quality produce and we’re very excited by the opportunity to help more kids get access to these healthy foods,” said Louise Bilek, Regional Wellness Specialist. “We want to thank Westfields Hospital & Clinic and Stillwater Medical Group for this chance to work together on this important initiative.”

This is the third year that Westfields Hospital & Clinic and Stillwater Medical Group have offered the Fruit and Veggie Rx Program to the community. This year’s program runs from June 26 through July 31 (or while supplies last).

In addition to the Fruit and Veggie Rx Program, PowerUp partners with schools to bring the Try for 5 School Challenge. This three-week program inspires kids to taste, try and track fruits and vegetables. Since participating in the School Challenge, three out of four students now eat more fruits and vegetables according to a survey of their teachers and parents.

“Fruits and vegetables are a key to healthy family eating,” said Andrew Dorwart, MD, St. Croix Valley Medical Director at HealthPartners. “The prescription is a way to help make it a little easier to get more fruits and vegetables.”