How to Participate

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1. Provide at least two children’s meals that meet Kids LiveWell criteria.

Kids LiveWell requires participating restaurants to offer at least two children’s meals that meet the following criteria:

  • Calories: < 550
  • Calories from saturated fat: < 10%
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Added sugars: <15 g
  • Sodium: <700 mg
  • Food groups: KLW meals must include servings in the specified amounts from at least two of the following five food groups. At least one of the two food groups must be a fruit or vegetable.
    • Fruit: ≥ ½ cup (includes 100% juice)
    • Vegetable: ≥ ½ cup
    • Non/low-fat dairy: ≥ 1 cup
    • Meat or meat alternate: Includes meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, and nuts and seeds: ≥ 1 ounce.
      • Examples of 1-ounce equivalents: 1 ounce of meat, poultry or seafood; 1 egg; ¼ cup of cooked beans or tofu; 2 tbsp peanut butter; or 1 ounce of nuts or seeds.
    • Whole grains: ½ serving
      • To provide a half-serving of whole grains, a food must provide ≥ 8 grams of whole grains and meet at least one of the following: 1) First ingredient a whole grain; 2) ≥ 50% whole grains by weight of product; or 3) 50% whole grains by weight of grains.

2.  Provide at least two side dishes that meet Kids LiveWell criteria.

Restaurants participating in Kids LiveWell must offer at least two side dishes for children that meet the following nutrition criteria:

  • Calories: < 200
  • Calories from saturated fat: < 10 %
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Added sugars: <5 g
  • Sodium: <225 mg
  • Food groups: Kids LiveWell side dishes must include at least 1 serving from the following five food groups:
    • Fruit:  ≥ ½ cup (includes 100% juice)
    • Vegetable: ≥ ½ cup
    • Non/low-fat dairy: ≥ 1 cup
    • Meat or meat alternate: Meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, and nuts and seeds. ≥ 1 ounce.
      • Examples of 1-ounce equivalents: 1 ounce of meat, poultry, or seafood; 1 egg; ¼ cup of cooked beans or tofu; 2 tbsp peanut butter; or 1 ounce of nuts or seeds.
    • Whole grains: ½ serving
      • To provide a half-serving of whole grains, a food must provide ≥ 8 grams of whole grains and meet at least one of the following: 1) First ingredient a whole grain, 2) ≥ 50% whole grains by weight of product; or 3) 50% whole grains by weight of grains


3. Adhere to the Kids LiveWell’s “default beverage” policy.

If you include or offer beverages as part of the kids’ meals at your restaurant, the Kids LiveWell program requires participating restaurants to ensure that the “default beverages” you make available for any of your children’s meals meet certain criteria. A default beverage refers to the beverage or beverages that are automatically included or offered as part of any children’s meal. Customers are free, of course, to make a specific request for an alternative beverage that’s not on the list.

Specifically, to participate in Kids LiveWell, a restaurant that sells a children’s meal must make the default beverage(s) offered with their children’s meals one or more of the following:

  • Water — Options include water, sparkling water or flavored water, with no added natural or artificial sweeteners.
  • Milk — Options include flavored or unflavored nonfat or low-fat (1%) dairy milk or non-dairy beverage that is nutritionally equivalent to fluid milk (e.g., fortified soymilk) in a serving size of 8 ounces or less.
  • Juice — Options include 100% fruit or vegetable juice, or fruit and/or vegetable juice combined with water or carbonated water, with no added natural or artificial sweeteners, in a serving size of 8 ounces or less.

To make it easy for families to choose these ‘better-for-you’ offerings, restaurants participating in Kids LiveWell must include a list of any of the default beverages they offer on any material or collateral from which people order a children’s meal. That would include, for example, paper and digital menus and menu boards in the store, at the drive-thru, for takeout, or on websites; any app; and any in-store signage from which people could order a children’s meal (for example, a poster or a register cling).

4. Provide validation for the nutrition content of your menu items.

  • Third-party validation: Nutrition information for all Kids LiveWell meals and side dishes must be verified through an approved third-party validator. Contact Jeff Clark for details.
     
  • Timing: Restaurants joining Kids LiveWell for the first time must certify that their children’s meals and side dishes meet the below requirements at the time they join the program. (There’s one exception, for added sugars; see note below.)

    Restaurants that were part of the original Kids LiveWell program have until Jan. 1, 2021, to bring their Kids LiveWell meals and side dishes in line with the updated Kids LiveWell standards. Small restaurants with fewer than 50 full-time employees have until Jan. 1, 2022, to comply.

    Note: The Jan. 1, 2021, and Jan. 1, 2022, compliance dates for verifying added sugars fall 12 and 24 months, respectively, after large and small packaged-food suppliers are required to begin disclosing added sugars on the Nutrition Facts labels. See FDA’s Nutrition Facts label guidance, May 20, 2016.

 

5. Make nutrition information about Kids LiveWell items available for your guests.

Display or make available on request the nutrition profile of the Kids LiveWell menu options you offer, and promote/identify these better-for-you menu options to make it easy for families to choose.