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 are the best meals the ones that we prepare together?
1. 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)
2. A cross-sectional study in Australia showed that boy (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)
3. 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)
4. 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)
5. 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)
6. 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)
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)
8. 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)
9. 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)
How can we involve kids in food preparation?
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 40,000 tonnes of sugar and 6,200 tonnes of saturated fat since 2014;
- Removed over 15,000 tonnes of salt since 2012;
- Increased the number of micro-nutrient fortified food to 174 billion in 2017;
- Ensured that 99.8% of our portfolio is free of trans-fatty acids (TFA).
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;
- Further reduce sugars by 5%;
- Further reduce salt by 10%;
- Complete our commitment made in 2014, to reduce saturated fats by 10% in all relevant products that do not meet WHO recommendations.
Recent product launches including Gerber, NaturNes, Ninho...
In 2018, we launched over 1,300 nutritious food and drink products, adding to the 1,000 products that we had launched in 2017. In the same year, we provided over 184.7 billion servings of fortified foods and beverages in countries where people lack vital micronutrients such as iodine or iron.
Here are some examples:
Veggie food with Winiary
In Poland, Winiary launched a delicious and nutritious new product: a soup with wholegrains. This soup comes in three different flavors - mushroom soup with barley, pea soup with barley and “krupnik” with millet - these soups contain dried vegetables seasoned with an aromatic mix of herbs and spices, and are packed full of nutritious barley or millet.
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.
Going beyond organic standards, these products, available to European and North American consumers, aim to bring the best of nature to babies and toddlers.
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, Cerelac will soon be offered across Asia and Africa.
Plant-based food with Ninho
Ninho offers tailored nutrition from toddlerhood to school age. In September 2019, Ninho Forti+ launched in Brazil - a plant-based ready-to-drink range with oats, peas, real fruits and fortified with vitamins and minerals essential for school-age children.
Milo – Energy on the go with no added sucrose
Milo is packed full of energy.
Our new ready-to-drink Milo in Thailand and our Milo 30% less added sugar in Australia are brimming with the goodness of malt, milk and cocoa. They are free of any added sucrose (refined sugar) or any type of added artificial sweeteners.
Bio Wholegrains with Nestlé Cereals
Launched in 2018 in Europe, Nesquik Bio is an organic variant of Nesquik breakfast cereals. Free from artificial colors and preservatives, this cereal has organic wholegrains as the main ingredient.
Nestlé also recently introduced NesPlus in India, introducing Indian consumers to the goodness of wholegrain, with 20% less sugar than other products currently available on the market.
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.
In 2018, Nestlé for Healthier Kids programs reached 29 million children in 86 countries around the world.
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.
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 50 countries and almost 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
To celebrate International Chefs Day, chefs around the world work together with teachers and parents to share their love for healthy cooking and teach children basic healthy cooking skills.
International Chefs Day takes place every year and engages over 10 million chefs in their local communities. 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 more than 20 million kids find the sports that the love, and also learn important values like teamwork and leadership.
Nestlé for Healthier Kids school programs
In collaboration with over 300 partners worldwide, 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.