MINNEAPOLIS — Cargill is launching an initiative to help food and beverage manufacturers and food service operators improve the nutritional profile of their products for children.

“Cargill believes we all have a stake in improving kids’ nutrition — families, government, public health organizations and the food and beverage industry,” said Pat Bowe, corporate vice-president of Cargill's food ingredients and 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 school meal program requirements, as well as recommendations from industry organizations such as the Children’s Food & Beverage Advertising Initiative, Disney, and retailers including Wal-Mart.”

Additionally, the company is launching a web site, www.childhood-nutrition.com, to provide ideas for formulation challenges that come when trying to develop healthier and good-tasting products for children. The web site will connect food makers with updates on nutrition news, government policy, stakeholder actions and consumer trends.