Grins: USDA beverage rules could do more to encourage healthy habits

Grins Enterprises Inc. applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s efforts to improve the quality of food and beverages America’s children receive in schools through tightened standards for its school meals programs.

The USDA’s “Smart Snacks in School” proposal made earlier this month includes a lot of common-sense standards that will improve young people’s diets.

Grins is a beverage company committed to improving the health and well-being of our country’s children.From that perspective, we must disagree with some key assumptions behind these rules.

While 100 percent fruit juice is a more natural product with more vitamins than soda and sugary juice drinks, parents and children should realize that it still contains a lot of calories and sugar, without providing the fiber and other benefits a person would receive by eating a piece of whole fruit.

The USDA’s proposed rules would allow only milk, water and 100 percent fruit juice in middle and elementary schools. High schools would be able to sell additional beverages, including diet soda and other calorie-free flavored beverages, and other drinks with 50 or fewer calories per 8-oz. serving.

Pure apple juice contains more than two times that amount of calories.

And while artificial sweeteners don’t add to a young person’s calorie load, they have been scientifically proven to interfere with natural appetite control, and can make people crave even more sugary foods.

At Grins, we don’t think these are the right tools to use in the fight against childhood obesity.

Our better-for-you beverages were born at the front lines of that fight. A school foodservice manager told us he was unhappy with the beverage options he had to serve to his students. Popular sports drinks were full of artificial ingredients and sodium, and many drinks packed far too many calories.

Working with a respected expert in the organic and natural foods industry, we developed Grins. Grins is a better-for-you beverage with no artificial sweeteners or colors. It has fewer calories than the average sugar-sweetened beverage, and fewer than half the calories of 100 percent apple or orange juice. Grins also delivers a reasonable dose of essential vitamins.

The human body can’t perform without a constant supply of fluids. Most of us need 64 ounces or more of fluid each day.

In a perfect world, we would all drink water to quench our thirst, but the preference for sweet is programmed into us by evolution, and has been shown to exist from birth.

Grins seeks to fill the need for some of those 64 daily ounces to taste like something other than water, without weighing you down with calories or using artificial ingredients to trick your tastebuds.

Grins can be a fun, healthy part of an active lifestyle, and a growing number of schools, retailers and young athletes are discovering this.

Join us in helping everyone make better choices to get the fluids they need. You can learn more about our story at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s