New USDA school lunch standards fit with Grins’ mission

The USDA this week announced the first major overhaul of school lunch standards in more than 15 years. The new standards aim to put more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in front of the nearly 32 million children who get their midday meal from federally funded school lunch programs.

A good summary of what the new standards will mean for the average school meal can be found in this  USDA press release. The new standards are to be phased in over a three-year period, starting in the 2012-2013 school year.

The same legislation that set these new rules also has something to say about the beverages students are offered outside of the lunch line. According to the USDA, “Foods and beverages sold in vending machines and other venues on school campuses will also contribute to a healthy diet.”
We at Grins are very happy about this news. The only reason we exist is because a school foodservice manager came to us begging for someone to develop a beverage that offered better nutrition than those already on the market, with a pleasing taste that would get kids to pick it up in the first place.
At 50 calories per 8-ounce serving, our product provides fewer calories than most sugar-sweetened beverages, and fewer than half the calories of 100 percent apple or orange juice. We have said before that in a perfect world, every child would drink water to stay hydrated, but we know reality–kids are drawn to sweet flavors. It’s our goal to give them a healthier way to satisfy those cravings and get the fluids they need to stay active and be healthy.
Grins salutes the work that Michelle Obama and the USDA have done to try to address the problem of childhood obesity through improving school lunches. Healthier, happier kids is a goal we can all grin about.

Grins put to the test at Westchester Country Day School

Westchester Country Day School students help with a Grins delivery, with Assistant Headmaster Gardner Barrier behind the wheel of the Grinsmobile.

High school students are tough critics.

One of the reasons we started making Grins was to provide a healthier alternative to many of these students’ preferred beverages (read more about this here). Of course, to make that worth the effort, you’ve got to create a product that tastes good, so kids will choose it above the other beverages.

We think we’ve accomplished that, and we got some good proof this week at Westchester Country Day School in High Point, N.C.

The kids and administrators at Westchester have been crazy about Grins since they first tasted it. They are participating in our Grin and Share It! program and also selling bottles in their cafeteria and concessions stands.

Assistant Headmaster Gardner Barrier reports that the first day Grins went on sale in the cafeteria, about half the kids bought Grins and half bought their usual Gatorade. It didn’t take long for that to change.

By the second and third days selling Grins, Barrier said, almost nobody was buying Gatorade anymore.

Want to get your school grinning? Contact Nathan Battle.