A new milk-based beverage option will help school districts provide students with the nutritional benefits they need with the flavors they want.
Under the guidance of the National Dairy Council, Jamba Juice Company has introduced a new, healthy yet flavorful smoothie that combines the nutritional benefits and natural flavors of milk and fruit.
"This is an important step in the right direction," dietitian Kathleen Zelman said in a news release. "This project moves us closer towards the goal of providing schools with nutritious food and beverage solutions at a reasonable cost per serving."
The new smoothies are expected to be available as early as September and will offer fat-free smoothies available in both berry and peach flavors. Each smoothie contains one serving of fruit and on-half serving of fat-free dairy.
But the real question remains: will kids want to eat it?
"Kids should love the natural sweetness of this healthy smoothie," Zelman said. "It's made with nutrient-rich real fruit and fat-free milk that not only tastes great, but also helps address the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and can be offered as an a la carte item at school meal."
The fight against childhood obesity focuses around sodas, energy and sports drinks, the top sources of added sugar and “empty calories” in American diets. Health officials have expressed mounting concern about the increase of “empty calories” consumed by youth and have struggled in curbing these unhealthy eating habits.
Their ultimate goal is to improve the health of the nation’s students.
Dairy farmers have served an important role in providing these youth with better nutritional options.
"Dairy farmers and dairy companies want to help students get the benefits of essential nutrients found in products made from fat-free milk, such as calcium, potassium and protein," said Jean Ragalie, registered dietitian and president of the National Dairy Council. "Adding dairy to the fruit-based JambaGO smoothie offerings demonstrates our continued commitment to innovation to develop healthy food and beverage choices that children will enjoy."