The Kids LiveWell Program developed by the National Restaurant Association in partnership with Healthy Dining announced a new mobile APP at the NRA Show in Chicago, with the goal of helping parents to find restaurants with healthier menus.
I was honored to be invited to participate in the Kids LiveWell campaign during this year’s NRA Show joining women from all over the country, NRA Staff, and the Head of Legislative Affairs to learn about how restaurants are participating in the healthier dining initiative.
As a mom and advocate for healthier living, my mission has always been to ensure that my kids eat healthy and opted to prepare meals at home as much as possible when they were younger due to the lack of healthier options at restaurants.
Occasionally when we traveled or chose to dine out, finding restaurants with healthier menus was almost non-existent. I’m thrilled to see kids today have a variety of healthier choices while dining out with their family.
The Kids LiveWell Program was launched in July of 2011 with only 19 restaurant brands and has rapidly taken off since with over 96 new brands and 25,000 locations nationwide. New restaurants are being added to this growing number weekly.
Among some of the brands participating include: Au Bon Pain, Bonefish Grill, Chevys Fresh Mex, Chili’s Grill & Bar, Corner Bakery Cafe, Outback Steakhouse as well as Chick Fil-A and Applebee’s, the newest to join Kids LiveWell represented during the NRA Show.
In order for restaurants to participate in the Kids LiveWell Program, each establishment must be able to meet specific criteria based on scientific guidelines and verified by Healthy Dining’s team of registered dietitians.
President and CEO of National Restaurant Association, Dawn Sweeney said, “parents are finding a growing selection of healthful children’s menu options of fruit and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.”
Each full meal must consist of 600 calories or less. Chick-fil-A’s chicken nuggets are gluten free and grilled instead of fried.
According to reports from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Americans tend to choose convenience rather than nutrition.
I’m excited to see restaurants from fast food to high end establishments embracing the Kids LiveWell Program which aims to help families dine out healthier. As the demand for healthier menus increase, we’ll be seeing more restaurant brands added.