Help Santa Choose Carrots Instead

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Each Christmas Eve, tradition holds that children leave out a plate of milk and cookies for Santa. During the night Santa Claus might visit in excess of 125 million homes. (Estimates vary.) Should he eat merely a single cookie in each visit, at an average of 100 calories per cookie, Bolthouse Farms analysts estimate that Santa may consume as many as 12.5 billion empty calories in a single night. This season, Bolthouse Farms is encouraging Santa Claus to make a smarter food choice.

Children who learn to make smart food choices at an early age tend to thrive. Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the past three decades and research shows that kids are consuming 5 to 15 percent more sugar per day than dietary guidelines allow. To combat the sugar craze, experts recommend making smart food choices, like limiting desserts, sweets and sugary cereals and checking nutrition labels to ensure that sugar isn't a main ingredient. As sugar is undoubtedly the primary ingredient in the 125 million cookies Santa may consume on Christmas Eve, this gives American parents an ideal moment to discuss food choices.

Bolthouse Farms' Cut and Peeled Baby Carrots will be repackaged this December as the "Official Snack of Santa." The holiday carrots will be available exclusively at Wal-Mart stores nationwide. At 35 calories per serving and full of Vitamin A and beta carotene, baby carrots give Santa and his reindeer the nutritious edge needed to navigate their global journey. With a satisfying crunch that pairs well with favorite holiday dips and dressings, baby carrots are an ideal snack for "all the good boys and girls," young and old. 

"We are sympathetic to Santa and we love cookies, too. But we're sure Mrs. Claus would welcome it if Santa cut down on the empty calories," said Jeff Dunn, chief executive officer, Bolthouse Farms. "Even small food choices, made the right way day after day, can have a positive, lasting impact."

To complement its holiday campaign, Bolthouse Farms is helping to raise funds for Action Against Hunger, a global humanitarian organization committed to ending hunger and developing sustainable nutrition solutions. Beginning on November 26 and running for one month, Bolthouse Farms asks consumers to help Santa fight hunger by pledging their support on facebook.com/bolthousefarms. For every pledge, Bolthouse Farms will donate $1 to Action Against Hunger, up to $25,000.

"The people at Action Against Hunger are putting every resource at their disposal towards the fight against hunger, and we're proud to support them," said Bolthouse Farms' Jeff Dunn. "For some communities, of course, food choices are not a choice at all – access to food and clean water are limited. For other communities, more options exist, and children can learn at an early age to make choices that keep them healthy and engaged."