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National Restaurant Association - NRA collaborates on summit on healthful kids' meals

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NRA collaborates on summit on healthful kids' meals

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The NRA was in San Antonio this week as part of a landmark event in collaboration with the Culinary Institute of America.

The first-time “Healthy Flavors, Healthy Kids” National Invitational Leadership Summit May 11 to 13 highlighted new ideas and research, cooking demos, and steps restaurants are taking to promote the health of America’s youth.

The three-day event brought together nearly 200 restaurant and foodservice leaders to talk about the kinds of healthful food options that appeal to kids -- and how to spread the healthful-eating message, whether in schools, restaurants or at home.

Participants included chefs, dietitians, school foodservice providers and restaurateurs. NRA dietitian Joy Dubost led a session on the top trends driving innovation for children on menus across the country.

The summit included new research on what foods children like and what they don’t; discussions of obesity in the Latino community; and how culinary professionals can better understand and collaborate with the school foodservice market.

Chicago restaurant icon Rick Bayless gave a cooking demonstration on opportunities to inspire kids' interest in global flavors. White House Chef and Policy Advisor Sam Kass talked about First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative and the “Chefs Move to Schools” effort. San Antonio’s mayor talked about his city’s Fitness Council, and ways restaurateurs can partner with local leaders to make measurable improvements in a community’s health.

The NRA also moderated a panel presentation on the ways restaurants are meeting the challenge of developing more healthful menu options for the school foodservice market. Panelists included a representative from Domino’s and an independent operator from Chicago.

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