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National Restaurant Association - Ground Round: Beefing up healthful meals for kids

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Ground Round: Beefing up healthful meals for kids

In the latest installment of this series, the National Restaurant Association profiles Ground Round Grill & Bar and some of the healthful items it has created since joining the Kids LiveWell initiative.

Ever since Ground Round Grill & Bar started marketing two of its kids' meals as part of the National Restaurant Association's Kids LiveWellSM initiative, complete with the program's official logo, sales of those items have increased 20 percent, the chain's director of operations and menu development said.

"We are excited about the Kids LiveWell program and look forward to adding more healthful choices for our guests in the near future," Ground Round's Don Damerow said.

Currently, the chain offers its young customers Kids Sketti, which consists of spaghetti in marinara sauce, and a broiled chicken breast dinner. The entrees are accompanied by red grapes and bottled water. Damerow said he expects to expand the Kids LiveWell menu by adding grilled tilapia with mango salsa, rice pilaf and a vegetable as an item.

Damerow said that the 25-unit casual-dining Ground Round chain has evolved beyond its inception 43 years ago as a beer-and-burger-based pub to become more family-oriented with a vastly expanded menu. Though the concept has always welcomed families, it gradually has increased its appeal to young children through marketing tools like its Ground Round Hound mascot.

He added that over the years, the concept has increased its more healthful choices to fit its guests' changing needs and lifestyles.

The NRA unveiled its Kids LiveWell initiative in July 2011. The program, whose membership has more than quadrupled since its debut, was created in partnership with San Diego-based nutrition consultancy Healthy Dining. The initiative promotes foods that meet qualifying criteria based on leading health organizations' scientific recommendations. Consumers can identify those healthful menu items by visiting healthydiningfinder.com.

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