Trying to persuade young people to eat healthily, Chiquita Brands International Inc. brought bananas, fresh-cut apples and other snacks to the Magic Kingdom and gave them a free day at the park.

Chiquita’s Disney visit highlights healthy eatingDuring an March 18 ribbon cutting, officials with the Cincinnati-based Chiquita celebrated its partnership with theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.

Chiquita has an exclusive contract with Disney for bananas, apple slices and salads, and sponsors Disney’s Living with the Land at Epcot. There, visitors learn about how foods are grown, can ride the Crush ‘n Gusher and the Banana Blaster waterslide at Typhoon Lagoon, and visit the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.

Chiquita chief executive officer Fernando Aguirre joined Miss Chiquita and 20 children from a local Boys and Girls Club and Disney officials. The children and Aguirre rode one of the attractions and Chiquita paid for the children’s park admission.

“At Chiquita, our mission is to help improve world nutrition,” Aguirre said in a statement.“I cannot think of a better way to do that, than helping educate consumers of all ages about the benefits of proper nutrition and making our products even more accessible to children at their favorite vacation destination, the Walt Disney World Resort.”