Spotlight on Children’s Health

Children’s Health

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. From 1999 to 2016 the number of obese children under 5 years of age increased from 32 to 41 million worldwide.1 In the US, childhood obesity rates tripled from 5% in 1970 to 17% in 20142 and a study in 2015-2016 showed that 18.5% of the US population (13.7 million) children from 2-19 years of age were considered obese.3

Why is this happening and how can there be a positive change? Product developers have a unique opportunity to address this issue by creating healthy functional food and beverage solutions to help reduce childhood obesity.

WHO has found that not only are more children overweight, but there is an increasing number of these children who are undernourished despite being overweight. This is mainly due to children not eating enough whole foods and to the overconsumption of processed foods that are low in essential nutrients and high in calories, fat, sugar, salt and artificial additives.

To support healthy physical and mental development and to provide the energy that active, growing bodies need, it’s recommended that children get their nutrients from a wide variety of whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein sources and fats. A diet rich in these foods would supply abundant vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fiber and antioxidants. But for various reasons an ideal diet is often not attainable, so nutritional supplements can provide a boost to a child’s diet.

Some nutrients are known to be especially important to active, growing children. Calcium helps to build strong, healthy bones and teeth, especially since nearly all bone mass is built during childhood and adolescence. Proteins are the basic building blocks for all cellular tissue. Iron is essential for healthy blood. Fiber, found in whole food products, aids digestion and discourages overeating. Healthy fats, especially DHA omega-3 fatty acids, are essential for healthy cell membranes and for brain health. Also, while added sugars should be minimized, the carbohydrates from whole foods play an important role in providing a slow and sustained glucose supply for energy, physical activity and healthy brain function. Additionally, with changes in childhood activities, like the increased use of digital devices by children and adolescents, there is the potential to create new nutritional supplements to support eye health.

To enhance their child’s nutritional intake and to fill any potential nutritional gaps, busy parents are looking for healthy snacks, convenience foods and nutritional supplements. The demand for children’s supplements is increasing worldwide and it’s expected to increase even more as consumers learn more about the importance of proper nutrition for healthy development, along with a shift in the demographics of new parents and their increasing disposable incomes.4 At the same time, more of these consumers are looking for organic, non-GMO, clean-label products - with natural, simple, recognizable ingredients. Concerned consumers are also searching for vegetarian and vegan options. The challenge for product developers is to create high quality nutritional supplements and functional food and beverage options that meet these standards while also providing the flavor and variety children want.

NP Nutra® offers premium quality products that can be added to drinks, smoothies, snack foods, bars, chips, gummies, chewable supplements, syrups and much more. For functional food and beverage applications we provide healthy sweeteners like Lo Han Guo, Lucuma, Mesquite, Stevia and Yacon. Fruit powders such as banana, blueberry, mango and strawberry add natural sweetness, and coconut powders introduce children to new flavors. Beet and carrot powders add sweetness and vibrant color, while green vegetable powders such as spirulina and spinach are nutrient-dense and colorful. Our protein powders provide high quality, tasty, plant-based protein. Sacha Omega and Hemp seed oil add healthy fats in applications requiring oils. We also have numerous other great products in our Additive free and Nutra Organics categories.

Plant NP Nutra's Ingredients Applications

Lo Han Guo

Lo Han Guo P.E. 7% Mogrosides
(Monk Fruit)

Sweetener
Functional foods
Functional beverages
Dietary supplements

Lucuma

Lucuma Powder (organic)

Natural sweetener
Dietary supplements
Tablets/capsules
Functional foods
Functional beverages

Mesquite

Mesquite Powder (organic)

Dietary supplements
Tablets/capsules
Functional foods
Functional beverages

Stevia

Stevia P.E. 90% (organic)

Functional foods
Functional beverages
Sweetener
Skincare

Yacon

Yacon Root Powder (organic)
Yacon Syrup (organic)

Functional foods
Functional beverages
Sweetener



References:

1 http://fortune.com/2018/02/27/childhood-obesity-rates/
2 https://www.tc.columbia.edu/media/media-library-2014/centers/tisch-center/Nutrition-Ed-White-Paper-09.14.pdf
3 https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db288.pdf
4 https://blog.euromonitor.com/optimizing-development-the-growing-paediatric-and-prenatal-supplements-market/

For more information, please contact your account manager or request a sample.