The National Restaurant Association’s groundbreaking Kids LiveWell program is celebrating its three-year anniversary this July, the association announced today. The voluntary program, which provides a growing selection of healthful children’s menu choices, has grown from 19 to 150 participating restaurant brands, representing more than 42,000 locations nationwide. The initiative includes quickservice and tableservice concepts among national companies, regional chains and independent restaurants, as well as theme parks, resorts and museums.
The National Restaurant Association launched the first-of-its-kind initiative in July 2011 in collaboration with partner Healthy Diningand 19 inaugural brand leaders representing 15,000 locations.
To further build the initiative’s scope, the National Restaurant Association has partnered with foodservice suppliers including Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods, McCormick for Chefs, PepsiCo and Sysco, to help participating restaurants meet the nutrition criteria of Kids LiveWell meals. The California Milk Advisory Board also has become the first commodity board to sponsor the program.
To join Kids LiveWell, restaurants agree to offer and promote a selection of qualifying menu items based on leading health organizations’ scientific recommendations, including the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines. The initiative focuses on increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy, and limiting total calories, unhealthy fats, sugar and sodium.
Healthy Dining’s team of registered dietitians works with restaurants to identify and validate menu choices that meet the program’s criteria. Participating restaurants and their qualifying items can be found on HealthyDiningFinder.com, and also via a free Kids LiveWell app.
posted by: Eric Fujimori