The health of America’s children is important to restaurant operators as well as to parents. With the help of National Restaurant Association initiatives, today’s operators are bringing more delicious, nutritious kids’ items to menus.
Healthy eating is kids’ stuff
The restaurant industry is taking the lead in improving the variety and appeal of healthful menu items for kids. A variety of popular, innovative restaurant programs and partnerships are making sure that nutritious options are widely available and, of course, irresistibly fun to eat.
Healthful kids’ meals are the No. 3 restaurant food trend in 2013 – in both the fullservice and limited-service restaurant segments, according to NRA research. Whole-grain items in kids’ meals ranked as the #10 trend in the fullservice segment, with fruit/vegetable sides for children coming in at #15. Limited-service operators also report growing popularity of fruit/vegetable sides and low-fat milk.
Our Kids LiveWell program promotes innovative kids’ meals and helps parents and children select healthful options at restaurants. Participating restaurants that agree to offer menu items that meet specific nutritional guidelines, verified by a third party, qualify to use the Kids LiveWell logo and apple icons on their marketing collateral. At a glance, parents and kids can recognize healthier choice menu options. Launched in mid-2011, the program already has 30,000 restaurant locations participating.
Our Kids Recipe Challenge, created in cooperation with McCormick for Chefs, challenges restaurants and foodservice operators to submit their proudest culinary creations from their kids menus. Winners in each of four restaurant operation categories are determined with the input of elementary school children. The NRA also has introduced the “Healthful Kids Fare” pavilion at the annual NRA Show in Chicago to showcase nutritious products for kids.