Childhood Nutrition Initiative
As the mother of three kids ages 9 to14, I know it’s a balancing act to provide them with the foods that will help them grow into healthy adults and, at the same time, satisfy their desire for things that taste good and they enjoy eating.
I grew up in a home where my mother had this down pat. She is a wonderful cook, who whipped up delicious, well-balanced family meals that we shared together at 6 o’clock every night. As a typical first generation Italian-American family of that time, pasta was practically a food group of its own at our house. In fact, my brother, sister and I took comfort in the delightful routine of knowing what to expect for dinner every Sunday and Wednesday — pasta. And my mom certainly didn’t worry that she was feeding us too many carbs, or too much sodium or fat in the meatballs and marinara sauce she served with the spaghetti.
For most of today’s parents, in the age of a heightened need for convenience, constant information and worrisome childhood obesity rates, the balancing act can be a bit more complicated. And for the companies in the food industry that are serving their needs, it is an increasingly complex challenge to do so amidst growing demands from other stakeholders in the broader food chain – government, public health organizations, NGO’s, schools, retailers and consumers.
At Cargill, we believe that we all have a stake in improving childhood nutrition. We are mobilizing our resources to help food and beverage manufacturers, retailers and foodservice operators make a difference in children’s diets — by helping them to reformulate kids’ products to provide better nutrition profiles and to innovate with healthier options. Announced today, Cargill has launched an initiative to bring together our ingredients and technical know-how to help customers develop formulations that meet their particular goals – whether to increase whole grains, fiber or protein, or to reduce sugar, sodium, saturated fat or trans fat.
In addition, Cargill has launched www.childhood-nutrition.com to provide our customers with ideas for solving formulation challenges associated with creating great-tasting products that are healthier for kids. The website also connects food-makers with updates on nutrition news, government policy, stakeholder actions, and consumer trends and how they are shaping the changing landscape surrounding childhood nutrition.
We hope you will find this website useful and that you will return often to seek information and inspiration. Cargill can help you provide solutions that will please kids and their parents — as much as my family and I were pleased by a bowl of my mom’s spaghetti and meatballs.
Laura Daly is the marketing leader of Cargill’s childhood nutrition initiative. She has been with the company for the last 3 of her 20 years in the food and beverage industry.