BROOMFIELD, Colo. and WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Families across the country are once again faced with juggling school closures and stay-at-home restrictions and will need to balance children’s health and nutrition in different ways. Danone North America, the purpose-driven food and beverage leader with a diverse portfolio of yogurt, dairy and plant-based foods, convened its Little Bites, Big Impact virtual panel of leading experts to discuss the challenges around children’s nutrition and food accessibility. During the event, the leader in providing nutritious, accessible food, drinks and snacks for kids and maker of Horizon Organic® and Danimals® unveiled its latest plant-based product innovation, Silk® Kids Almondmilk Yogurt Alternative. Danone North America will also donate more than $100,000 in kid’s products to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York in collaboration with one of its great northeast retail partners Hannaford Supermarkets. The donation extends its commitment to providing solutions that meet the nutritional needs of children in the New York community, home to one of its U.S. headquarters.
Silk Kids Almondmilk Yogurt Alternative is the latest innovation from Silk, America’s no. 1 plant-based beverage and a leader in yogurt alternatives, and is designed with kids and parents in mind. The new yogurt alternative is fortified with Calcium and Vitamin D to help support strong bones and has 25% less sugar per ounce1 than average flavored yogurt alternatives. Silk Kids Almondmilk Yogurt Alternative is also peanut-free, gluten-free, lactose-free and Non-GMO Project Verified – making it a good allergen-friendly option for lunchtime and snack time. The dairy-free yogurt alternative comes in three delicious flavors including Mixed Berry, Apple Cinnamon and Strawberry, and will be available at select retailers starting December 2020.
“This is a crucial time for parents across the country, and Danone North America has convened an important conversation with industry experts to discuss the current challenges in children’s nutrition due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lia Stierwalt, Senior Director of Marketing for Silk Plant-Based Yogurt Alternatives. “We are happy to announce the launch of Silk Kids Almondmilk Yogurt Alternative as part of the solution, expanding our company’s kid’s portfolio and platform with a delicious plant-based option that kids love, and parents can feel good about.”
In addition to expanding its portfolio for children, Danone North America brought together leading experts in children’s health and nutrition for a virtual roundtable to discuss children’s overall well-being in these unique times and how nutrition plays a critical role. Panel participants included Alice Choi, HipFoodieMom, recipe developer and food enthusiast; Dr. Kelly Fradin, pediatrician and author of “Parenting in a Pandemic: How to Help Your Family Through COVID-19”; Frances Largeman-Roth, registered dietitian nutritionist, health expert and New York Times best-selling author; and Amanda Blechman, registered dietitian and Senior Manager of Scientific Affairs for Danone North America. Insights from the discussion around our new normal, solutions, options, and other pressing topics facing families and schools today given our upended reality, include:
- A resurgence of family mealtime is one positive outcome of stay-at-home orders. While the pandemic has had several negative effects on our health, including weight gain related to stress2, experts agree that the pandemic has brought some benefits too, such as giving families more opportunities to cook and eat together, which are valuable activities to promote connection and learning among children.
- There has been an increase in flexitarian lifestyles among the whole household. Panelists shared that many consumers have used this time at home to experiment with more plant-based foods, which is an effective option to nourish children as part of a balanced diet.
- Parents will need to continue to balance children’s health and nutrition in different ways as the pandemic continues. All parents have unsustainable loads to take on while schools are closing and much of the country is in a virtual or hybrid situation. Panelists suggest meal planning and preparation as key tactics for parents, to make sure kids have a well-balanced and nutritious diet during these difficult times.
- Pediatricians are very concerned about the pandemic’s impact on children’s mental health. Experts state that children are paying an enormous price as the country tries to control the spread of coronavirus. Dr. Kelly Fradin notes pediatricians have been concerned by, “higher rates of anxiety, depression and disordered eating” among children. The CDC reported increases in emergency room visits among children under 18 for mental health concerns by 24-31%.3
- Meal prep is key to helping parents manage mealtime with ever-changing schedules. Panelists noted that prepping meals and grab-and-go snacks helps parents have nutritious meals on hand for their children. Older children can also develop their kitchen skills by putting together their meals based on the prepped items their parents’ supply.
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended traditional schooling schedules, presenting a new set of challenges for children’s mealtime routines and access to well-balanced, nutritious snacks. In an effort to increase access to nutritious snacks and beverages for children in New York State, Danone North America and Hannaford are donating more than $100,000 in Silk, Horizon Organic, and Danimals products to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York – a community that both companies are proud to serve.
“Many families across America rely on schools to supplement meals away from home,” said Sue Till, Manager of Healthy Living for Hannaford. “Partnering with Danone North America to help increase accessibility to nutritious snacks for children supports our efforts to reduce these gaps in our community.”
Danone North America has an ongoing relationship with community partners across the U.S., including local affiliates of Feeding America. Throughout 2020, the company has donated more than $5 million in product to support local communities in need. As a part of the Feeding America network, the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York’s service area encompasses 41% of the landmass of New York State and provides more than 41 million pounds of food a year.
From crawling to walking to fully talking, Danone North America’s products are there through all the important childhood milestones. Specially formulated for children ages 1 to 5, Horizon Organic Growing Years milk delivers key nutrients for growing bodies. As taste and other dietary preferences begin to evolve, NEW Silk Kids Almondmilk Yogurt Alternative offers a delicious dairy-free option with Calcium and Vitamin D to help support strong bones. Further, Super Danimals is there with billions of probiotics, Vitamin C and D in delicious flavors to help support children’s immune systems when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
To learn more and follow the children’s nutrition conversation on social media, use #LittleBitesBigImpact. For more information on Silk Kids Almondmilk Yogurt Alternative and where to find it in a store near you, visit Silk.com.
About Danone North America
Danone North America is a purpose-driven company with a portfolio of dairy and plant-based foods. As the world’s largest Certified B Corporation®, Danone North America is committed to the creation of both economic and social value, while nurturing natural ecosystems through sustainable agriculture. Our portfolio of brands includes: Activia®, DanActive®, Danimals®, Dannon®, Good Plants™, Horizon Organic®, International Delight®, Light + Fit®, Oikos®, Silk®, So Delicious® Dairy Free, STōK™, Two Good®, Vega®, Wallaby® Organic and YoCrunch®. With more than 6,000 employees and 13 production locations across the U.S., our mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible. For more information, visit www.danonenorthamerica.com. For more information on Danone North America’s B Corp™ status, visit: https://bcorporation.net/directory/danone-north-america.
About Hannaford Supermarkets
Hannaford Supermarkets, based in Scarborough, Maine, operates 184 stores in the Northeast. Stores are located in Maine, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Hannaford employs more than 26,000 associates. Additional information can be found at Hannaford.com. To learn more about Hannaford’s commitment to healthy kids, visit: https://hannafordsnackpals.com/.
1 Silk Kids Almondmilk Yogurt Alternative has 1.75g sugar per ounce; other flavored yogurt alternatives average 2.4g sugar per ounce.