How can we make fruits and vegetables more exciting? 18



Healthy food is good for your kids, but how can you convince your kids to eat it?

Two weeks ago I attended PMA ( The Produce Marketing Association) show in Atlanta. I attended with 12 other incredible food bloggers who are all linked here.  You should really go and follow all of the other food bloggers. They are super talented and post the most delicious foods I have ever seen.

I am not sure what my favorite part of PMA was, meeting up and talking with other amazing food bloggers or seeing all the awesome food displays, or learning at the various sessions.  It is a toss up for sure, I loved each and every minute.

Before I show you the new products ,gorgeous displays, and my favorite new foods I need to thank a few people.  Casey Benedict from Kitchen Play put together the entire trip, securing our tickets, sponsors and meals.  Without Casey the trip to Atlanta and PMA would not have been possible.  If any brands are not working yet with bloggers, Casey is the one to hook you up.  The Twitter party that Casey held three days before PMA was one of the best I have ever attended. Great questions, learning new things, and impressive participation numbers.

IMG_8088 valley fig spread Outrageously Fresh grape tomatoes Hurts berry farm cranberries tessemaes dressings

The other people I need to thank are our sponsors: Sun Maid and Valley Fig growers, HBF International, Tessemae’s Dressings, PMA, and Outrageously Fresh!.  These sponsors made it possible for our #TeamFreshSummit to attend the most amazing conference on Produce and Floral products in the United States.

The two things that I remember most about the PMA Fresh Summit expo were the large amount of people in attendance(over 22,000) plus the gorgeous displays.  One night we had our group of 22K plus over 50k Taylor Swift fans converging on one corner in Downtown Atlanta. Can you say traffic nightmare?  Each morning the room for breakfast was beyond large.  Everyone was lucky enough to hear two speakers, Guy Kawasaki and Mike Walsh.  They were both dynamic, interesting, and relevant.  The screen in the front of the room was more than 100 feet long. Guy Kawasaki even took a photo with all of #TeamFreshSummit and was very gracious. I loved listening to his presentation and meeting him. I have been a big fan of his for many years and it was an honor to get to talk with him for a few minutes and to take a selfie, because as Guy told us in his presentation, “If you don’t take a selfie it didn’t happen!”  Once the breakfast presentations were over, everyone had to make their way to the Expo Hall.  I am not exaggerating when I say it took us almost 30 minutes to make our way to the hall.  There were 5 escalators and many floors to go through. The Georgia World Congress building is no joke.

Guy Kawasaki and #Teamfreshsummit Georgia World Congress PMA Fresh Summit IMG_8061

 

 

I think I saw about half of all the exhibitors who were there.  I tried to see them all, but there are only so many hours that the Expo was open and my energy was definitely expended by the end of the day.  The companies I did get to meet were incredibly interesting.  Just look at this display made from Watermelons, just gorgeous!  This was not the only watermelon display either. I was really blown away by the quality of each display, so much time and effort went into making these decorations.  While attending a show like PMA you start each morning reading the Produce News.  It has all the news about the Produce industry and I kind of liked reading something new and relevant to the trip I was on.  Last week the Produce News reported that all the exhibitors together donated over 340,000 pounds of food to local Atlanta Food Banks.  Isn’t that amazing?  More than 250 volunteers helped to collect all the food that was leftover each day.  What a wonderful way to share the incredible fresh foods with people who need it and will use and enjoy it.

IMG_8233 watermelon carving at PMA Fresh Summit

 

 

 

Some of my favorite new food innovations included: Mann’s Culinary Cuts, Mucci Farms Veggies to Go, Back to the Roots Organic Cereals and the Sesame Street Eat Brighter campaign.

 

IMG_8328 Culinary Cuts pasta swaps Mucci Farms veggies to go for lunch box

Eat Brighter campaign with sesame street characters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mann’s culinary cuts made from butternut squash and sweet potato, are super cute pasta swaps that look delicious.  Mucci Farms has veggie to go packs, a great way to get fresh veggies into your kids lunch box with an easy to use single serve packaging.  Sesame Street characters are being used royalty free on various fruits and vegetables that will hopefully encourage kids to buy them at the store, then eat them in their lunch or at dinner.  Finally, the Back to the Roots company has incredibly addictive cereals in three flavors that come in cardboard milk shaped containers.  These cereals have only 4 organic ingredients and taste really good. Can you believe that a one cup serving of the cocoa clusters has only 4 grams of sugar!!  I love this cereal so much.

Nature Fresh Farms at PMA Fresh Summit Flower display at Fresh Summit PMA mushroom display at PMA fresh summit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each booth had a more incredible display than the next one.  There were greenhouses, fresh flowers, and incredible mushrooms(my favorite) on display.  Each new row of exhibitors was more beautiful than the last.  While at PMA I even learned that I like avocado ice cream. I have tried avocados many times and I just never liked them.  But the Avocados from Mexico booth had the most delicious and addictive avocado ice cream.  I would buy it by the gallon if I could.  There are many more companies that I met at PMA but I cannot share everything in one post.  Stay tuned to hear more about the exhibitors who want to help your family eat healthier, coming up on my blog soon.

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Thanks to Kitchen-PLAY and PMA for including me as a part of this year’s #TeamFreshSummit. As part of Team Fresh Summit, I received compensation from Sun-Maid, Valley FigOutrageously Fresh Produce, and Hurst’s Berry Farm. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

 

 

 

 



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