Restaurants work on improving kids meals

Restaurants work on improving kids meals

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Burger King and Chili’s are among the 19 restaurant chains that are voluntarily limiting unhealthy fats, sugars and sodium in children’s meals.

The National Restaurant Association kicked off its new “Kids LiveWell” campaignon Wednesday in 15,000 locations nationwide.

The other participating restaurants include: Au Bon Pain, Bonefish Grill, Burgerville, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Chevys Fresh Mex, 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.

Those restaurants involved in the “Kids LiveWell” campaign must:

  • 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.

Despite its recent launch, the healthy initiative has already been met with a side order of skepticism. Margo G. Wootan, Director of The Center for Science in the Public Interest, released a statement suggesting while the “Kids LiveWell” is a step in the right direction, one healthy menu offering just isn’t enough.

“Most restaurants already offer one or two healthy choices—but they are present amidst a minefield of high-calorie, salty, high-fat options. The great majority of choices on children’s menus should be healthy, given that kids are getting one-third of their calories outside the home, and eating out is linked to obesity.”

 

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