Minneapolis-based Cargill announced a new initiative to help food and beverage manufacturers and foodservice operators find formulation solutions to address the complex challenges associated with improving childhood nutrition.

“Cargill believes that we all have a stake in improving kids’ nutrition—families, government, public health organizations and the food and beverage industry,” says Pat Bowe, corporate vice president of Cargill’s food ingredients and systems businesses. “With this initiative, we are focusing resources to help customers develop formulations with less trans- and saturated fat, sugar and sodium and more whole grains, fiber and protein. Customers have an opportunity to offer healthier choices and meet new childhood nutrition guidelines and standards such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) school meal program requirements, as well as recommendations from industry organizations such as the Children’s Food & Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), Disney and retailers including Walmart.”

In support of this initiative, Cargill is launching www.childhood-nutrition.com to provide ideas for solving formulation challenges associated with creating kids’ products that are healthier and taste great. The website was designed to connect food makers with updates on nutrition news, government policy, stakeholder actions and consumer trends shaping the rapidly changing landscape surrounding childhood nutrition.

“The pressure on companies to improve the nutritional profiles of products aimed at children is coming from all angles—consumers, regulators, NGOs and company shareholders,” adds Bowe. “With a holistic approach considering nutritional standards, taste, cost and expertise across the entire ingredient matrix, Cargill is committed to helping customers navigate formulation complexities to create affordable products with better nutritional profiles that kids will love to eat. Together, we can advance a shared goal of helping kids thrive through better nutrition and health.”