September 28, 2022

Restaurant Industry Children’s Nutrition Commitment Highlighted at White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

Association announces eight popular national outlets committing to Kids LiveWell program, adding 45,000 new restaurants
Washington, D.C. — Today, the National Restaurant Association participated in the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, highlighting the industry’s commitment to expanding its children’s nutrition initiative, Kids LiveWell (KLW). The announcement included the commitment of seven popular national restaurants, Buffalo Wild Wings, Burger King, Chipotle, First Watch, Golden Corral, Silver Diner, and Subway, to offer menu options nationally that meet the KLW standards. In addition to these brands, Compass Group – a foodservice support company – has committed to offer KLW meals and sides to select clients including Bon Appetit Management Company, Levy Restaurants, Restaurant Associations, and Wolfgang Puck Catering Division.

The industry’s commitment announced in collaboration with the White House Conference includes:
  • Expanding the reach of KLW by recruiting additional restaurant chains
  • Expanding KLW to foodservice outlets operating in museums, cultural centers, and sporting arenas
  • Committing to promote KLW to member restaurants, including the launch of a KLW resources library that incorporates healthy recipe swaps, a recipe book with pre-certified recipes and a toolkit for State Restaurant Associations
  • Developing a new healthy dining database for caregivers featuring KLW-approved meals from participating restaurants
  • Creating a nutrition education and training module for use in skill development programs
  • Creating a communications and education campaign to promote healthier options on children’s menus
“Restaurants are an extension of families’ dining room tables. The restaurant and foodservice industry is proud to partner with parents and caregivers to provide choices that include better-for-you options for kids,” said Michelle Korsmo, President & CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “Growing the Kids LiveWell program furthers our investment in overall health and nutrition, and with nearly 60,000 restaurants participating, parents have more options in more places. We believe restaurants of all sizes find value in participating in Kids LiveWell. We look forward to strengthening the program through the commitments we’ve made during our participation in the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.”

The eight new participants join current KLW restaurants Applebee’s, Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s, Denny’s, Firebirds, IHOP, Joe’s Crab Shack, Outback Steakhouse, and Panda Express. The additional brands add more than 45,000 participating restaurants to the program, quadrupling the number of outlets and satisfying the first pledge made for the White House conference.

KLW helps parents and children enjoy better-for-you meal options when dining out. It was originally created by the National Restaurant Association in 2011 as part of the industry’s commitment to providing a wider range of menu options for families. In October 2021, the Association worked with Food Directions, an independent nutrition company, to release KLW 2.0, which brings the program up to date with current nutrition science, including the latest USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Restaurants that participate in the voluntary program commit to offering healthful menu items for children with a focus on increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy while limiting unhealthy fats, added sugars, and sodium. Every restaurant is required to have two meals and two sides that meet the KLW criteria and a default kind’s menu beverage policy that includes only water, low-fat or non-fat milk, 100% fruit or vegetable juice.  

“We are proud to be a part of this historic conference that brings industry and government together to discuss the future of food policy to help solve hunger and nutrition challenges in our nation,” said Sean Kennedy, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “The commitments we’ve made will positively impact communities across the country by making it easier for consumers to meet their family’s lifestyle and appetites when dining out.”

The 2022 White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health is the first of its kind in more than 50 years. The conference focused on ways to end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030, so that fewer Americans experience diet-related diseases like diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.

Learn more about Kids LiveWell here and restaurants wanting to find out how to join KLW will find the information they need here

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises nearly 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 14.5 million employees. Together with 52 State Associations, we are a network of professional organizations dedicated to serving every restaurant through advocacy, education, and food safety. We sponsor the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find @WeRRestaurants on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.