According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity rates among children and teenagers have tripled in the past 30 years. If obesity trends continue, the associated medical costs could rise to an estimated $66 billion annually by 2030. This is why Cargill is launching to provide ideas for solving formulation challenges associated with creating children’s 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.

“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 & 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.”

"The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend dietary patterns that support good health and set out the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of child nutrition, but it will take industry to provide the ‘how,’” says Dr. Robert Murray, a pediatrician and professor at The Ohio State University’s department of human nutrition. “Very few companies have the experience, expertise and breadth of Cargill to help lead the food industry through reformulation toward our shared national goal: items of high nutritional quality that retain taste, value and convenience for families.”

“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.”