Michelle Obama's New PLEZi Nutrition Brand Aims To Tackle Children's Health Crisis

Michelle Obama may not be the First Lady anymore, but that hasn't stopped her from advocating for a cause close to her heart: ensuring America's children have access to proper nutrition. Since her days in the White House, Obama has become co-founder and a strategic partner with PLEZi Nutrition, which creates nutritious beverages geared toward kids. While her mission to change how the food and beverage industry meets the nutritional needs of the country's youth has not changed, her work with PLEZi Nutrition gives her the opportunity to do so at ground level.

According to PLEZi, a public benefit company, children in America are not getting enough nutrients in their diets and are ingesting far more than the recommended amount of sugar. Sweetened drinks are a common source of that sugar, and two out of three kids drink sugary beverages every day. In the hopes of shifting this tide, PLEZi will produce drinks that contain 75% less sugar than most fruit juices as well as nutrients kids need, like potassium, magnesium, zinc, and fiber.

Obama, who launched the Let's Move Initiative while serving as first lady for eight years, said she has learned that to create widespread change, the whole system must change. "I'm proud to announce the national launch of a company designed not just to provide better products, but to jumpstart a race to the top that will transform the entire food industry," Obama said during The Wall Street Journal Future of Everything Festival on May 3.

Four fun PLEZi drink flavors for the kids

Available at Target, Sprouts, and Walmart.com, PLEZi drinks come in four familiar, fun flavors that appeal to kids: Tropical Punch, Orange Smash, Sour Apple, and Blueberry Blast. PLEZi wants to make sure its beverages can reach more kids by being distributed at more stores in the future, and it also plans to create more beverage options as well as snacks as the company grows.

In addition to the sale of beverages, PLEZi Nutrition intends to offer educational resources with a focus on how important it is for children to drink water and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables as part of their daily diet. PLEZi's ultimate goal is to help shape children's palates to crave less sugar and make more informed food choices. This goal will also be pursued through financial donations the organization makes from its sales; the company has already gifted $1 million going to FoodCorps' Nourishing Futures initiative, which works to ensure all students in the U.S. are educated about proper nutrition and can receive free school lunches if needed. PLEZi Nutrition has committed to donating 10% of its profits to similar organizations and initiatives.