A lot of people talk about making food healthier for children, but actually getting down to business and making a change for the better is another thing altogether. As part of the National Restaurant Association’s new Kids LiveWell campaign, however, nineteen franchises and chain restaurants are doing their part. Restaurants participating in the campaign have all made a voluntary commitment to limiting unhealthy fats, sugars, and sodium in children’s meals across 15,000 locations worldwide.
The restaurants involved in the National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell campaign are: Au Bon Pain, Bonefish Grill, Burger King, Burgerville, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Chevys Fresh Mex, Chili’s, 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.
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According to CNN, all of the restaurants participating in the campaign must adhere to the following guidelines:
- 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.
- 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.
- Display or make available upon request the nutrition profile of the healthful menu options.
- Promote/identify the healthful menu options.
CNN also notes that some critics are saying that the Kids LiveWell campaign doesn’t go quite far enough, noting that many restaurants already offer at least one healthier menu option, but that those options are buried beneath mountains of calorie-laden chicken fingers and French fries. Still, it’s undeniably good attention to a worthy cause, and even a small step in the right direction is still just that – a step in the right direction.