Promoting a Decade of Healthy Babies
ENRICHING BODIES, IMPROVING LIVES
While many people will automatically agree with the notion that whole grains are healthy grains, white bread lacks the same health halo. Popular culture has led many to believe that white bread is nutritionally negative, offering only empty calories.
White bread made with enriched flour actually contains more vitamins and nutrients that many whole grain breads. In fact, enriched white bread contains twice the folic acid of whole grain bread and is one of the reasons behind the dramatic reduction in a certain kind of birth defect (neural tube defects (NTDs)) in the U.S. over the past 30 years. Young women cite having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby as one of their top health concerns.
Working against this health insight, GFF partnered with leading prenatal health advocacy groups, including the March of Dimes and the Spina Bifida Association, to communicate to young women the importance of folic acid for ensuring a healthy pregnancy and the simple ways to incorporate folic acid-rich foods, like enriched bread, into their diets.
Partnering with these organizations gave the Grain Foods Foundation permission to promote a vilified product to this important consumer audience with the power to influence their friends, families and children with what they buy at the grocery store and put on the table.
For ten years, GFF and its membership has worked to highlight the connection between enriched grain products and healthy babies, including:
- Five-year national sponsorship of the March of Dimes March for Babies, connecting GFF members with the communities they serve
- Celebrity partnerships with chefs and spokespeople like former Miss USA Susie Castillo to appeal to young Hispanic women, for whom NTDs are more prevalent
- Development of the first-ever, on-pack March of Dimes Seal designating enriched grain products as good sources of folic acid
- Media and social outreach surrounding Healthy Baby Month (January) and featuring GFF Advisory Board Members Sylvia Melendez-Klinger and OB/GYN Dr. Bruce Young
- Hosting two Twitter Parties with blogger network Mom Central to discuss the important role of folic acid in healthy pregnancies
- Creation of broadcast and print Public Service Announcements with the March of Dimes and the Spina Bifida Association and distribution to national media outlets
- Point-of-purchase retail displays at Kroger Supermarkets
Over the past 10 years, our Healthy Baby activities to support enriched grains products have garnered more than 1.1 billion earned media and social media impressions.