Nutrition is key to ensure a child’s healthy development. But as always, theory is one thing, practice is another. Encouraging kids to eat more veggies and fruits, ensuring their meals are as nutritious as possible and incorporating diversified protein sources – including plant-based options – can sometimes prove challenging for parents and caregivers.
Nestlé for Healthier Kids brings together all our efforts to support parents and caregivers on their journey to raise healthier kids. We are launching more nutritious foods and beverages worldwide to answer children’s nutritional needs, while providing nutrition education through school programs, as well as everyday tips and healthy recipes for parents. Our ambition is to help 50 million children lead healthier lives by 2030.
Getting children involved in the preparation of meals leads them to adopt healthier eating habits – in short, their diet quality is higher, with children more inclined to eat fruits and vegetables. That’s why we encourage and advocate ‘togetherness’ — when parents and kids come together in the kitchen.
Why involving children in the food preparation is so good for them?
- Overall diet quality was higher among Canadian fifth graders who helped prepare home meals at least once a week compared with those who never helped with meal preparation (Chu YL et al. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2014;46:304-8)
- A cross-sectional study in Australia showed that boys (not girls) with the “healthful” dietary pattern were more involved in helping make meals than boys with an “energy-dense” eating pattern (Leech RM et al. Appetite. 2014;75:64-70)
- Helping with cooking was positively associated with adhering to a healthy Mediterranean diet in 7th-9th graders in Portugal (Leal FM et al. Persp in Pub Health. 2011;131:283-7)
- Canadian fifth graders who regularly helped prepare home meals ate 1.4 more servings of fruits and vegetables per day (combined) than children who never prepared meals (Chu YL et al. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2014;46:304-8)
- Japanese children (10-11 years old) who helped with meal preparation were more likely to eat vegetables and fruits every day compared to those who did not participate in meal preparation (Nozue M et al. Nutr Res Pract. 2016; 10:359-63)
- Involving young children (2-5y) in food preparation increased frequency of fruit and vegetable intakes (Shim JE et al. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2016;48:311-7)
- Helping to cook meals regularly was associated with a 10% increase in preference for vegetables in 5th graders in Canada (Chu YL et al. Pub Health Nutr. 2013;16:108-12)
- Increased involvement or extent of parental encouragement for children to help with food preparation was positively associated with preferences for vegetables in 3-7 year old children (Vollmer RL and Baietto J. Appetite. 2017;113:134-40)
- Preschoolers were more willing to eat vegetables when the child helped prepare recipes with vegetables (Ugalde M et al. JMIR Serius Games. 2017;5:e20)
The two focus areas of the program:
1. Accelerating the transformation of our product portfolio
To ensure our brands support healthier lifestyles and meet today’s nutritional needs, we have already:
- Removed over 60,000 tonnes of sugar since 2017;
- Removed over 10,000 tonnes of salt since 2017;
- Increased the number of micro-nutrient fortified food servings to 196,6 billion in 2020;
We have also made forward-looking commitments by 2020:
- Add 750 million portions (80g) of vegetables;
- Add at least 300 million portions (16g) of fiber-rich grains, pulses, nuts & seeds to products;
Completed our commitment made in 2014, to reduce saturated fats by 10% in all relevant products that do not meet the Nestlé Nutritional Foundation criteria with respect to saturated fat.
Recent product launches including Gerber, NaturNes, Ninho...
In 2020, we launched over 1,210 nutritious food and drink products, adding to the 1,398 products that we had launched in 2019. In the same year, we provided over 196,6 billion servings of fortified foods and beverages in emerging countries where people lack vital micronutrients such as iodine, iron, vitamin A or zinc.
Here are some examples:
Veggie food with Maggi
Maggi is applying its 'Simply Good Food' principles across its product range, using only known ingredients, more plant-based ingredients such as vegetables and fiber-rich grains, as well as less salt.
In the Middle East, Maggi developed a range of soups designed per the nutritional needs of school-aged kids (4-8 years of age) with only authentic and locally common spices, herbs and vegetables. These products have no added artificial colors, flavors or added preservatives, and offer children 1 of their 5 a day recommended vegetables servings.
Organic baby food with Gerber & NaturNes
Gerber and NaturNes provide a wide range of organic babyfood from vegetable and fruit purees, to cereals-based snacks and nutritious meals.
Available in Europe and North America, Gerber and NaturNes Morning Bowls brings crafted morning bowls with whole grains, ancient grain quinoa, real fruits and no added sweeteners for 10+ months.
And to keep toddlers well hydrated and power through their day, Gerber launched an oat milk smoothie with nutritious organic fruits and veggies. This plant-based product has 2 g of plant-proteins per pouch and no added sweeteners or artificial flavors.
Organic cereals for babies with Cerelac
Cerelac Organic Selection is a baby cereal made with 100% locally sourced organic wheat and milk. Launched in India in 2019 and South Africa in 2020, Cerelac will soon be offered in other parts of Asia, Africa and America
Plant-based food with Ninho
Ninho offers tailored nutrition from toddlerhood to school age. In October 2020, Ninho Forti+ launched in Brazil a plant-based powder with cereals (whole oats and rice flour), polydextrose (dietary fiber), isolated pea protein and fortified with vitamins and minerals essential for school-age children.
Milo – Plant-based energy
The famous powder first introduced in 1932 is including a vegan friendly alternative to the Milo family.
Our new plant-based Milo in Australia and New Zealand brims the great iconic chocolate malt taste and nutritional goodness, but replacing milk powder with soy protein and oat flour. The product is also lower in sugar compared to original Milo and has a combination of vitamins and minerals to support kids' efficient energy release.
Bio Wholegrains with Nestlé Cereals
Available in several Europe markets and in the United Kingdom, Cheerios Bio are delicious breakfast cereals made from organic farmed wholegrains as the main ingredient, free from artificial colors and preservatives, for the whole family.
The family of Nestlé Bio Breakfast Cereals also includes Nesquik, Chocapic and Lion.
Kids specialized nutrition with Nestlé Health Science
BOOST Kid Essentials is a balanced nutritional drink sold in the U.S. designed to help kids grow strong. It contains high-quality proteins to help support muscle health with a vitamin, mineral and nutrient blend.
In 2020, BOOST Kid Essentials launched a new, simpler formula with no more than 12 ingredients plus a vitamin, mineral and nutrient blend and contemporary kid-friendly graphics. It's made without artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners and no high fructose corn syrup, all while offering a kid-approved taste.
2. Inspiring with supportive programmes and services
Parents and caregivers need help to raise kids with healthier eating and lifestyle habits. We develop programs and online services to provide them with nutritional knowledge, healthy recipes and practical tips.
Since 2016, Nestlé for Healthier Kids programs have reached over 80 million children across more than 80 countries.
Here are some examples:
Kids involved in the cooking process tend to eat healthier. Cooking makes a difference! Maggi provides cooking classes, online recipes and cooking tips to help families cook tasty and balanced meals that kids will love.
In Germany, the Maggi Kochstudio (cooking center) provides the support parents need to cook homemade meals every day. In Thailand, the 'Mum and Me' cooking club helps transmit cooking expertise from mother to kids, so that they adopt healthy long-term eating habits with more vegetables.
Furthermore, Maggi is also complementing its recipe offering with a proprietary meal-scoring algorithm. MyMenu IQ contributes to empower individuals and families choose online recipes that support a healthier, more balanced diet. To date, MyMenu IQ has been launched in 11 websites across 7 markets.
Nestlé Baby & me
Adopting good nutrition habits from an early age is essential to becoming a healthy adult. Nestlé Baby & me offers personalized nutrition services to parents in the first 1000 days of life - from pregnancy through to the baby’s second birthday.
The program is available in over 80 countries and more than 10 million parents are currently registered. Our services, mainly online, include an engaging e-learning course that turns the latest scientific findings into simple, practical feeding advice.
Nestlé Professional and the International Chefs Day
International Chefs Day offers chefs from around the globe a unique opportunity to create a difference in their local communities through teaching kids that healthy eating can be fun and exciting.
Through a range of digital resources, chefs also engage children on the impact food production and consumption can have on the environment. A child-friendly sustainability booklet helped to bring 2020's theme – Healthy Food for the Future – to life, reaching over 112 000 children in 28 markets. Learn more.
Milo sport camps
When kids grow with sports, not only do they lead a healthier and more active lifestyle - they also learn skills and values that help them succeed in life. Well-established Milo grassroots sports programs across the world are helping millions of kids find the sports that they love, and learn important values like teamwork, resilient and leadership.
In April 2020, with mass gatherings discouraged and sports events cancelled due to Covid-19, Milo Home Ground was launched to keep kids active while at home. This digital platform -available today in 17 markets- features a series of sport training videos and tutorials to help build the fundamentals motor skills.
Nestlé for Healthier Kids school programs
In collaboration with local relevant partners, our module specifically designed for schools provides teachers, parents and children with a range of nutrition and physical activities – promoting a healthy lifestyle in the school environment in more than 80 countries.
These programs are anchored in nutritional and behavioral sciences and aim to encourage students to adopt a minimum of six healthy habits.
Brands for healthier lives
Driven by our company purpose – enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future – we are focusing our efforts on ensuring that our product brands enable healthier lives.