California campaign with Chef LaLa promotes healthy cooking

SACRAMENTO: A commission in California, which advocates for children under the age 5, continued its mission to promote healthy eating with a new campaign featuring Latina chef, author, and TV personality Chef LaLa.

SACRAMENTO: A commission in California, which advocates for children under the age 5, continued its mission to promote healthy eating with a new campaign featuring Latina chef, author, and TV personality Chef LaLa.

First 5 California, the California Children and Families Commission, was created a decade ago by a voter proposition to serve as the voice for children under the age of 5. It is funded by a tobacco tax, and generates about $590 million annually.

The new campaign includes a survey about children's opinions on eating fruits and vegetables and a 48-page bilingual cookbook of healthy recipes.

"Yummy for Your Tummy" was released on October 29, after First 5 California conducted a survey of 4- and 5-year-olds, which debunked popular belief that children don't like to eat fruits and vegetables.

In addition to traditional media relations discussing the findings of the survey, First 5 California and its AOR The Rogers Group used online tactics to spread the message of healthy eating to parents and kids, said Elisa Bupara, communications director of First 5 California.

"Our committee likes us to use new and emerging technologies," Bupara told PRWeek. Families can order copies of "Yummy for Your Tummy" on the First 5 Web site, visit the organization's Facebook page, watch videos on YouTube, and view photo slideshows of the kids surveyed on Animoto.

Other PR tactics include a local TV appearance for First 5 California director Kris Perry and in-store radio announcements from Chef LaLa, starting mid-November, notifying shoppers at Albertsons grocery stories that cookbooks are available in stores.

"We have an ongoing obesity-prevention initiative for children and we were trying to find some new ways to make it interesting," Bupara said. The timing of the survey and cookbook around Halloween was also part of the strategy for the campaign.

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