Prescriptions are only for medication, right? Wrong. Some doctors are now prescribing fruits and vegetables to children at risk for diet-related health conditions like type 2 diabetes or heart disease, as well as to pregnant women.

Robyn Davies
July 30, 2013

Prescriptions are only for medication, right? Wrong. Some doctors are now prescribing fruits and vegetables to children at risk for diet-related health conditions like type 2 diabetes or heart disease, as well as to pregnant women.

Why the change? Doctors across the U.S. are participating in Wholesome Wave’s Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program (FVRx), which encourages people to buy local fruits and vegetables, educates them about the importance of eating fresh produce, and supports local farmers.

Overweight or obese children and pregnant women are eligible for FVRx, and participants meet monthly with their primary care provider and a nutritionist to talk about healthy eating habits. They also receive a prescription for fruits and vegetables that can be redeemed at local farmers markets. Each prescription is worth $1 of local produce a day for each member of the family, so a family of 4 receives $28 every week for up to 6 months.

FVRx says it has increased enrollee's fruit and vegetable consumption, lowered body mass index in overweight kids, and increased visits to local farmers markets. The program is in Massachusetts, Maine, California, and Rhode Island, and has expanded to 7 other states, including New York. Interested in learning more? Check out Wholesome Wave to find out how you can get involved.

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