As a recent university study sees it, American children are eating too many of the wrong things, chock-full of junk calories. The solution? Take the junk away. In April, Good Health Natural Products began shipping a new line of Veggie Stix® vegetable snacks to mass retailers. The reformulated Veggie Stix has up to 25 percent of the recommended daily allowance of key vitamins like Vitamin A, B6, D and E.
Through a proprietary process, the company takes a mix of spinach, broccoli, carrots, beets, shiitake mushrooms and tomatoes, turns them into a concentrate and adds them to the original Veggie Stix, in a newly opened, state-of-the-art factory in Pittston, Pa.
The process improves the snack by delivering meaningful levels of numerous vitamins and phytonutrients, including Vitamin A, B1, B6, C, D, E and K, all without changing the great taste (or price).
“It’s the whole food vegetable concentrates in Veggie Stix that make all the difference,” says registered dietician Steve Kinsley. “The concentrates retain the nutrients and the flavors of the vegetables during the cooking process so you get significant proportions of multiple vitamins in one serving of Veggie Stix. It’s a much healthier treat than conventional snack foods.”
Mark Gillis, president and CEO of Good Health Natural Products, says the snack marks a departure—and a revolution—for the snack food industry. Gillis notes that many individuals and families have rightfully sought out natural and organic products, out of concern for their health and well-being. Many have mistakenly believed that these kinds of foods have superior nutritive values.
“Organic and naturally produced fresh foods are indeed better for you,” says Gillis. “But until now, manufacturers of processed packaged foods have only been able to make their products less bad by making them with less fat, less sodium or by eliminating trans-fats.”
The need to move children away from junk food and toward better eating habits is borne out by a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study, published in March 2010. The study found that children are snacking more than ever before on chips, candy and other junk food. That increase in snacking, which now accounts for up to 27 percent of daily caloric intake, has occurred at the same time as a rise in childhood obesity, which has put millions of American children at risk for hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.
Gillis says the new version of Veggie Stix represents both an effort to do something about those recent trends and it is an extension of his company’s philosophy. Good Health Natural Products, a recognized natural products leader in the retail grocery, natural foods, and specialty marketplace believes that everyone deserves access to products that are both affordable and better for you, in order to live healthier lives.
“This is one small step toward fulfilling our responsibility to provide better nutrition for our families and our children,” says Gillis. “If we lead, others will follow.”