Buy plant-based baby food? Vegan parents are often left with few options when looking for nutritious and affordable food. Now baby food giant Gerber has introduced its new Plant-tastic selection: plant-based products aimed at young children that are completely carbon neutral as certified by the Carbon Trust. The vegan baby food lineup will include seven new plant-based organic snacks geared toward kids, including toddler snack bags, bowls and crispy snacks that are loaded with plant-based protein sources like beans and vegetables.
Gerber’s new plant-based selection will allow the company to enter the growing vegan market, which is increasingly targeting younger generations. Nearly 81 percent of households with children buy plant-based protein, and the number continues to grow. Climate warnings, such as the UN IPCC report, emphasize the importance of plant-based education and introduction to prevent the climate crisis from worsening.
We hear from parents [that] they want more plant-based protein options that align with their food and climate values,” said Gerber President and CEO Tarun Malkani. “Gerber Plant-tastic offers stage-based nutrition through milestones starting with organic bags, snacks and meals for toddlers. We are proud that the entire Plant-tastic product range is certified carbon neutral, reinforcing our commitment to nutrition for climate change.”
Plant-Based Eating Early Helps Decades Later
Gerber is advancing its plant-based selection to improve the health of younger children as well. Much research indicates eating plant-based foods earlier in life. This vegan selection will feature beans, legumes, vegetables, and fruit, giving kids more healthy foods. Eating plant-based foods earlier in life can extend life expectancy by more than 10 years, or even more.
The major company also aims to help parents introduce a plant-centric diet at a younger age so that once children reach adulthood, plant-based foods are a central factor in their diet. diet. Between the ages of 18 and 30, people who eat a plant-based diet could significantly lower their risk of heart disease 30 years later.
Gerber’s new line also reflects a new understanding of how beneficial plant-based foods can be. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – made up of 100,000 health professionals – published its position on vegan and plant-based diets in its medical journal, clarifying that cutting out meat and dairy benefits people of all ages.
“It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that vegetarian, including vegan, diets, properly planned, are wholesome, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases,” the Academy stated. “These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and for athletes.”
Recently, governments and public school systems around the world have begun integrating plant-based meals into children’s school lunches. In New York City, the school system launched a “Vegan Friday” meal program that provides free vegan meals to one million students. Outside the United States, the Brazilian municipality of Salvador launched a plant-based meals program to provide 10 million plant-based meals to students.
Growth of plant-based products of Nestlé
Swiss food giant Nestlé acquired Gerber in 2007, but until now the company had not expanded plant-based development for the Gerber brand. Since the plant-based market is expected to reach 77.8 billion dollars by 2025, Nestlé has doubled down on plant-based development across the company. With Gerber’s new plant-based selection, customers will be able to safely maintain proper nutrition levels for their children without purchasing animal-based baby and toddler foods.
“Many parents of my patients incorporate plant-based options into their own diets and seek to feed their baby according to their own dietary values. For parents looking to incorporate plant-based options, I advise ‘feeding baby the rainbow’ with a variety of foods.” Gerber pediatric consultant Dr. Whitney Casares said in a statement. “Gerber Plant- tastic are made with beans, whole grains, and vegetables, which are packed with nutrients like protein and fiber to support [a] healthy development of the baby.
By adding vegan baby food to its brands, Nestlé is keeping its promise to accelerate plant-based development. Last year, Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider announced that the company is actively working to create a replacement for every animal protein available. Beyond baby food, Nestlé has introduced vegan shrimp, plant-based eggs and much more to its various brands.
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