Association writes new chapter with Kids LiveWell recipe book
Kids LiveWell, launched in 2011, was updated last year to reflect the industry’s increased efforts to offer parents and children more nutritious, flavorful options when dining out.
Restaurateur/Culinary Educator Barton Seaver and Food Directions’ VP of Food and Nutrition Policy Maggie Gentile joined forces to develop and analyze the recipes’ nutritious value. Restaurants recreating the recipes automatically comply with Kids LiveWell requirements. (However, changing the recipes in any way, except to multiply single-serve recipes to achieve volume, would make them noncompliant.)
Kids LiveWell, launched in 2011, was updated last year to reflect the industry’s increased efforts to offer parents and children more nutritious, flavorful options when dining out. Key updates included:
- Expansion of certified menu items to include two meals and two sides
- Adding a default beverage policy such as water, low-fat or non-fat milk, or 100% fruit or vegetable juice
- Eliminating artificial trans fats to ban industrially produced trans fats from Kids LiveWell meals
- Removing fat calorie allowance so program no longer assesses total fat calories, but continues to limit calories from saturated fat
- Changing added sugar criterion so program no longer focuses on calories from total sugar and shifts to limits on added sugars
- Reducing sodium threshold to lower the sodium threshold for meals and sides by 10%
- Changing the dairy products to allow 1% and non-fat milk varieties only.
“During the conference, we announced that eight new national restaurant brands had joined Kids LiveWell, quadrupling the number of outlets enrolled nationwide to nearly 54,000 locations,” said Jeff Clark, the Association’s expert exchange director for nutrition initiatives. “We’ve already met one of the six goals we set in our conference commitment and our momentum is building.”
Recipes for success“We know many operators want to provide healthier meals for kids, but sometimes struggle with how to get started,” Gentile says. “That’s why we created this book. It includes several pre-approved meals and sides that meet the KLW criteria, and will make it easier to serve young guests more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy, while limiting fats, sugars and sodium.
“On a personal note, many of the recipes were created in my own kitchen, and tested on my three toddlers, which definitely makes them kid-and-dietitian approved! Really, our goal is to excite others committed to serving healthy meals to children and grow the Kids LiveWell movement.”
Kids LiveWell is an award-winning initiative garnering a SIIA Gold EXCEL award for best Association Advocacy Campaign, a Gold Communicator award honoring excellence in communications, sanctioned by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, and a Power of Associations Silver Award from the American Society of Association Executives.
Kids LiveWell Recipe Booklet
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Kids LiveWell is free to restaurant operators
Kids’ nutrition program makes it easy for operators to offer better-for-you kids meal options.