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About

Kids LiveWell menu choices are available at nearly 42,000 participating restaurant locations nationwide.

Read our FAQs to learn more about the Kids LiveWell program.

  1. What is the National Restaurant Association Kids LiveWell program?
  2. How many restaurants are participating in the Kids LiveWell program?
  3. How can a restaurant join the Kids LiveWell program?
  4. What nutrition criteria is a restaurant required to meet to participate in the Kids LiveWell program?
  5. What benefits do restaurants receive if they participate in Kids LiveWell?

1) What is the National Restaurant Association Kids LiveWell program?

The National Restaurant Association launched the Kids LiveWell program in collaboration with Healthy Dining to help parents and children select healthful menu options when dining out. Restaurants that participate in the voluntary program commit to offering healthful meal items for children, with a particular focus on increasing consumption of fruit and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy, and limiting unhealthy fats, sugars and sodium.

The Kids LiveWell program benefits both restaurateurs and guests. Participating restaurants get third-party verification and promotional materials for qualified meals and individual menu items. Parents and caretakers get accurate information to help them make informed decisions about their child's meal.

2) How many restaurants are participating in the Kids LiveWell program?

Nearly 42,000 restaurant locations are part of Kids LiveWell. These restaurants offer their young guests a selection of Kids LiveWell choices. We look forward to announcing additional restaurants and menu options on a regular basis.

Inaugural Kids LiveWell program leaders included 19 brands at the July 2011 launch: Au Bon Pain, Bonefish Grill, Burger King, Burgerville, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Chevys Fresh Mex, Chili’s Grill & Bar, Corner Bakery Cafe, Cracker Barrel, Denny’s, El Pollo Loco, Friendly’s, IHOP, Joe’s Crab Shack, Outback Steakhouse, Silver Diner, Sizzler, T-Bones Great American Eatery and zpizza.

3) How can a restaurant join the Kids LiveWell program?

Restaurants that join Kids LiveWell agree to offer and promote a selection of items that meet qualifying nutrition criteria based on leading health organizations' scientific recommendations, including the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines. Healthy Dining’s team of registered dietitians has worked with participating restaurants to identify and validate the menu choices that meet the Kids LiveWell criteria. Restaurants participating in the Kids LiveWell program:

  • Offer at least one full children’s meal (an entrée, side and beverage) that is 600 calories or less; contains two or more servings of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and/or low-fat dairy; and limits sodium, fats and sugar (see next question for details on nutrition criteria);
  • Offer at least one other individual item that has 200 calories or less, with limits on fats, sugars and sodium, and contains a serving of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein or low-fat dairy (see next question for details on nutrition criteria);
  • Display or make available upon request the nutrition profile of the healthful menu options; and
  • Promote/identify the healthful menu options.

There is a nominal fee to participate in the program. For more information on joining the Kids LiveWell program, please contact Joy Dubost at the National Restaurant Association at (202) 973-5361 or jdubost@restaurant.org.

4) What nutrition criteria is a restaurant required to meet to participate in the Kids LiveWell program?

A restaurant's featured Kids LiveWell menu items must meet specific nutrition criteria recommended by leading health organizations' scientific guidelines and verified by Healthy Dining’s team of registered dietitians. Criteria are listed here and also available on Healthy Dining's website.

Kids LiveWell Nutrition Criteria for Full Kids' Meals (entrée, side option and beverage):

  • 600 calories or less
  • ≤ 35% of calories from total fat
  • ≤ 10% of calories from saturated fat
  • < 0.5 grams trans fat (artificial trans fat only)
  • ≤ 35% of calories from total sugars (added and naturally occurring)
  • ≤ 770 mg of sodium
  • 2 or more food groups (see below)

Kids LiveWell Nutrition Criteria for Side Items:

  • 200 calories or less
  • ≤ 35% of calories from total fat
  • ≤ 10% of calories from saturated fat
  • < 0.5 grams trans fat (artificial trans fat only)
  • ≤ 35% of calories from total sugars (added and naturally occurring)
  • ≤ 250 mg of sodium
  • 1 food group (see below)

Full meals must include two sources & sides must include one source of the following:

  • Fruit: > ½ cup (includes 100% juice)
  • Vegetable: > ½ cup
  • Whole grains:  contains whole grains
  • Lean protein (skinless white meat poultry, fish/seafood, beef, pork, tofu, beans, egg):  > 2 ounces meat, 1 egg or egg equivalent, 1 oz nuts/seeds/dry bean/peas (lean as defined by USDA)
  • Lower-fat dairy (1% or skim milk and dairy):  > ½ cup (while not considered low-fat, 2% milk is allowed if included in the meal and the meal still fits the full meal criteria)

5) What benefits do restaurants receive if they participate in Kids LiveWell?

For restaurants who want to provide healthful options for kids, Kids LiveWell can help showcase your commitment by providing a flexible and turn-key program for verifying and promoting your qualified menu items. Capitalize on the trend toward healthier dining and drive additional sales and traffic.

Participating restaurants receive:

  • Placement on HealthyDiningFinder's Kids LiveWell website
  • Promotion of the Kids LiveWell program by the National Restaurant Association and Healthy Dining
  • An icon that can be used on menus to indicate a healthful choice.

For more information on joining the Kids LiveWell program, please contact Joy Dubost at the National Restaurant Association at (202) 973-5361 or jdubost@restaurant.org.
 

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