|MORTON GROVE, Ill., Nov. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Lifeway Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: LWAY), the leading U.S. supplier of kefir cultured dairy products, announced today that its ProBugs Blast organic low-fat milk kefir smoothies are now being served at 15 Stratford School accelerated preschool campuses in Silicon Valley. Two flavors are being offered to students as an option at snack time, adding a gluten-free and 99 percent lactose-free choice that’s packed with probiotics, protein, calcium, and both taste and packaging with a ‘blast’ of kid appeal.
Stratford School is an accelerated private independent school that offers advanced preschool, transitional kindergarten, elementary and middle school programs on 18 campuses in northern California and will expand to the Los Angeles area in 2016. The private school’s operations group selected Lifeway’s Cherry Lime Supernova and Strawberry Kiwi Comet ProBugs Blast varieties as additions to their snack offerings because the line fits their mission of offering healthy foods during several snack breaks every day. The Lifeway products expand the school’s selections in the healthy protein/dairy category.
“Quality is the hallmark of everything we do, from our curriculum to our snack program. We are always on the lookout for nutritious snack offerings to add to our program,” said Barbara Timm-Brock, Stratford School COO. “Lifeway’s ProBugs Blast meets our healthy standards for advancing each child’s education while also adding variety and a kid-friendly package design that helps children make good food choices.”
Stratford’s adoption is the result of a Lifeway initiative to place ProBugs products in schools. Lifeway already serves their ProBugs Blast at the Academy for Global Citizenship in Chicago, and the school currently uses other Lifeway products in recipes served to students during meal times. Lifeway plans to expand to more schools throughout the country in the coming months.
By offering their ProBugs Blast in schools, Lifeway aims to help improve the lives and health of children. Studies show that probiotics can help shorten the duration of colds, which may help reduce missed school days. Studies also show that probiotic-rich foods can combat childhood obesity, which currently affects 17 percent of children ages two to 19. The common goal is to help instill healthy eating habits in children at an early age that may help manage chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension throughout their lives. More than 200,000 Americans under age 20 are diagnosed with diabetes, while 3.6 percent of children ages three to 18 have hypertension. Recent research also shows a connection between diets rich in probiotics and lowered levels of anxiety and improved mental well-being overall.
“Offering smart probiotic-based food choices like Lifeway Kefir for in-school snacks and lunches can not only help students reap the immediate benefits of good nutrition, it also plays an important role in establishing long-term healthy lifestyle habits,” said Julie Smolyansky, CEO of Lifeway Foods. “With more than 30 million school lunches served daily across the U.S., the school environment provides an ideal opportunity to create a generation of children for whom kefir is as much a dietary staple as peanut butter and jelly.”