NRA's Kids LiveWell healthy eating initiative triples membership

Feb. 9, 2012

The number of restaurant companies participating in the National Restaurant Association/Healthy Dining’s Kids LiveWell program has tripled since its launch in July.

Currently, 68 restaurant brands representing more than 20,000 locations have committed to “Kids LiveWell,” a voluntary program that provides parents with a growing selection of healthful children’s menu choices when dining out. The initiative focuses on increasing consumption of fruit and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy, and limiting unhealthy fats, sugars and sodium.

“Parents are looking for healthful menu options for their children, and America’s restaurants, from chain restaurants to smaller independent operators, have stepped up to the plate in an overwhelming display of support for children’s nutrition,” said Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the NRA. “‘Kids LiveWell’ is just one example of how the restaurant industry is taking a proactive role in addressing our nation’s healthy living challenges and providing more options for consumers.”

In collaboration with Healthy Dining, the NRA launched Kids LiveWell in 2011 with 19 inaugural brand leaders. To join the program, restaurants agree to offer and promote a selection of items that meet qualifying criteria based on leading health organizations’ scientific recommendations, including the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines. Healthy Dining’s team of registered dietitians works with restaurants to identify and validate the qualifying menu choices.

One new brand to join the initiative is Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes. Its menu options meet nutrition criteria based on leading health organizations’ scientific recommendations, including the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines. The items include: 

  • Build Your Own Salad with five vegetables from the 55-foot-salad bar, one cup of soup and 100 percent Apple Juice
  • Deep Kettle House Chili (Low-fat), Wild Blue Blueberry Muffin, and 100 percent Apple Juice
  • Big Chunk Chicken Noodle Soup (Low-fat), Buttermilk Cornbread (Low-fat) and 100 percent Apple Juice

“We are excited to join Kids LiveWell and showcase our nutritious kid-friendly offerings,” said Joan Scharff, VP of Brand and Menu Strategy. “The healthy all-you-care-to-enjoy atmosphere at Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes is a great opportunity for parents to encourage their children to try new foods, and because our menu changes bi-weekly we have a variety of ever-changing Kids LiveWell menu options for parents and kids to choose from.”

The following 28 restaurant brands also have committed to the Kids LiveWell program and will be featured on in the coming months: Birchwood Café, The Common Man, Dr. Jazz Webster Groves, Edina Grill, Elephant Bar, Fat Lorenzo’s, Good Earth, Groveland Tap, Highland Grill, Home Plate Café, Longfellow Grill, The Lowry, Mama Fu’s, Mexico Restaurant, Muscle Maker Grill, Noodles & Company, People’s Organic, Pete’s Chicken-N-More, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, RedRossa Italian Grill, Ruggles Green, Shari’s, Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers Dining, Shula’s at the Sheraton Chicago, LB Bistro & Patisserie at the Sheraton Chicago, Stoney River, 3 Squares Restaurant and Wagamama.

Read more about health and nutrition.

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability , Food & Beverage , Health & Nutrition , National Restaurant Association

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