National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell Program

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National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell Program Reaches 42,000 Locations Nationwide

In celebration of National Nutrition Month, the National Restaurant Association announced today that its first-of-its-kind Kids LiveWell initiative has grown to 42,000 restaurant locations nationwide. The voluntary program, which provides a growing selection of healthful children’s menu choices in every state, now counts more than 145 restaurant brands as participants, including new national companies Cosi, Jamba Juice and Rainforest Cafe, as well as Ovation Brands’ Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet and Old Country Buffet, among other regional chains and independent restaurants.

Building on the initiative’s positive momentum, the National Restaurant Association has also partnered with national foodservice companies to expand the reach of the Kids LiveWell program, including the Kellogg Company, Kraft Foods, McCormick For Chefs, PepsiCo and Sysco

To highlight the restaurant industry’s continuing positive efforts in nutrition, the National Restaurant Association created the Kids LiveWell Recipe Challenge along with founding partner McCormick For Chefs and sponsor Healthy Dining. The initiative is aimed at showcasing restaurant and foodservice companies’ culinary ingenuity of creating healthful options for children. The Challenge takes an “industry tested, kid approved” approach with a panel of food and nutrition professionals selecting finalists and elementary school students choosing the winners in four categories.

The children’s tasting event and the announcement of the Kids LiveWell Recipe Challenge winners will take place Saturday, April 5 at the McCormick World of Flavors store in Baltimore, Md.

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.

Participating restaurants and their qualifying items can be found on HealthyDiningFinder.com, and also via a free Kids LiveWell App.

The National Restaurant Association launched the groundbreaking initiative in July 2011 in collaboration with partner Healthy Dining and 19 inaugural brand leaders representing 15,000 locations.

Posted by: Meghan Ogilvie
3/11/14