Nutritious and Delicious Restaurant Options #KidsLiveWell

PrintThese days, it’s more important to me than ever to give my family healthy options when it’s mealtime.

The other night, I was pleasantly surprised when Devin went so far as to eat brussel sprouts with his dinner.  I couldn’t believe it!

Dining out poses its own hurdles when it comes to healthy options. However, some restaurants make it a priority, and now the National Restaurant Association (NRA)  has a campaign to get more restaurants on the healthy food for kids train.

The NRA is teaming up with Healthy Dining on the Kids LiveWell program.  This initiative is highlighting the restaurant industry’s commitment to offer healthy options for children.

Kids LiveWell is a first-of-its-kind voluntary industry program, reaching over 41,000 restaurant locations committed to providing families with a growing selection of healthful children’s menu choices when dining out.

The National Restaurant Association and Healthy Dining verify that Kids LiveWell items meet specific nutritional criteria established by leading health organizations’ scientific
guidelines.

A Kids LiveWell meal provides the following:
• 600 calories or less
• ≤ 35% of calories from total fat
• ≤ 10% of calories from saturated fat
• < 0.5 grams trans fat (artificial trans fat only)
• ≤ 35% of calories from total sugar
• ≤ 770 mg of sodium
• Each meal must contain two sources of either fruit,

Restaurants are now being challenged to create healthy menu items through a partnership with the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and McCormick For Chefs.

It’s called the Kids LiveWell Recipe Challenge and the goal is to showcase healthy menu options available when dining out.

Restaurants and food service providers submitted their healthy creations from their kids menu for consideration for this exciting, new award.

2014 Kids LiveWell Recipe Challenge Winners:

Bean Sprouts Café & Cooking School: The Do Re For Me Sandwich is organic multi grain oat bread spread with sunflower butter and organic strawberry jam and cut into piano key sized/shaped pieces,served with a skewer of grapes and water. The pumpernickel bread is  cut into smaller pieces and placed on top of the wheat bread to represent black piano keys.

O’Charley’s: The Cloudy with a Chance of Spaghetti and Meatball Pizza has grilled sirloin meatballs and spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and whole wheat pizza dough served with apple juice.

Sysco Hampton Roads: The Kids Quesa WOW Dilla is a chicken quesadilla with broccoli, chicken,peppers and corn, served with a side of grapes and water.

UW Health: The Swimming Taco is served with fresh grapes on the side and a frozen banana avocado smoothie.

These restaurants really did a  great job coming up with creative healthy meals kids would love. They put a twist on these meals using healthy ingredients in a fun way for kids, which is a great way to distract kids and  get them to eat things that are both nutritious and delicious.These restaurants provided great examples to let us know we can have both we don’t have to choose. I am learning that when it comes to healthy eating, if I season things just right and present them in a fun way, my kid will try just about anything.

13784029145_dd98ba5dc8_zFor more information on Kids LiveWell, follow Kids LiveWell on Twitter and Facebook.  Also, check out HealthyDiningFinder.com and download the free smartphone app for a list of all Kids LiveWell restaurants and menu items.

 

 

Follow me on May 17th,2014  I will be tweeting with #KidsLiveWell sharing information from the National Restaurant Association’s annual show in Chicago

Please share with me any healthy kids recipes you love and other tips/tricks to get your children to eat healthier foods.

Disclosure: I am being compensated to share this information, however all opinions and words expressed are my own. 

 

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34 comments
katgilbert81
katgilbert81

I love the fact that restaurants are beginning to have healthier options for kids. I am trying to live a healthier lifestyle. I still have a few vices I need to get rid of but I think I am on a good path.

dinade
dinade

I have made the decision to stop purchasing sodas. Even when out that is such an expense. Water does your body good!

AmyLynnDesrosiers
AmyLynnDesrosiers

I think it is great that they are making healthier meals, but most people go out to indulge once in a while.

KrystalS1
KrystalS1

That's a great initiative! I hope that it works out and more families feed their kids healthy choices. 

Candypo
Candypo

That's a fabulous initiative. It helps when restaurants give healthier options.

ToniPatton
ToniPatton

I love that restaurants are creating healthier menu items!  It's great to have these options when we eat out

Marvelous Mommy
Marvelous Mommy

I love that they are creating healthier menu items for kids! We always try to choose healthy items when eating out.

Kecia08
Kecia08

Love that restaurants are getting healthier options for kids. It's not their decision to eat out most of the time, so it's good that have good meal choices!

Christie
Christie

This is a great initiative! I'll be glad to see more restaurants hopping on board

MELISASource
MELISASource

I am glad that such a service as KidsLiveWell is available for parents now. Finding healthy foods can be challenging while traveling.

Henrietta
Henrietta

Kids Live Well sounds like a wonderful initiative! I remember how frustrating it was to try and order healthy options off of the children's menu, when my kiddos were little --- it seemed like the only offering was mac & cheese, pizza or deep fried chicken strips!

its_a_fab_life
its_a_fab_life

We keep a pair of dice at the table.  Josh has to roll them and add up the dots to determine how many bites he has to take of something he doesn't like.  No more mom the bad guy (I'm not the one who rolls the dice!)  Sometimes he gets lucky with a low number and sometimes he gets a high number.  But it usually evens itself out over time.

KaylaPotega
KaylaPotega

When my sister and I were younger my mom used to tell us we needed to at least try one bite of something we thought was iffy or we weren't part of 'The Tasty Club'. Worked every time! LOL


It's wonderful that restaurants are tying to make healthier eating for kids easier :)

MessForLess
MessForLess

I am so excited to see more healthy options out there!

Jenn The Rebel Chick
Jenn The Rebel Chick

This sounds like a great campaign. REstaurants have the power to help break the cycle.

chelseaoliviaxo
chelseaoliviaxo

This challenge sounds awesome! The quesadilla sounds tasty :)

amomsimpression
amomsimpression

I find that if I can get the kids excited about helping me fix the food, they are more likely to eat it.  What a great initiative!  

Mommylicious
Mommylicious

Wow!!  Eating Brussel Sprout?  I won't even eat that.  Honestly at this point I'm kind of giving up in sneaking in veggies into my kids meal.  They even handpicked tiny peas and carrots when I make fried rice.  

VeronicaSolomon
VeronicaSolomon

My kids and I eat at Wholefoods a lot. there aren't very many options for healthy eating. thanks for sharing

Beth Frugal Froggie
Beth Frugal Froggie

I think it is great if restaurants work at serving healthier foods.  Especially for kids.  

DebbieDenny
DebbieDenny

That is a great program. Can't wait to hear mor on it from you.

LizMays
LizMays

I love that they're working on a campaign to add more healthy options. We need them!

autumn
autumn

This is such a great campaign to get kids to eat healthier options at restaurants! Sometimes I have a hard time finding something for my daughter to eat, but it appears that this will become much easier soon! 

mail4rosey
mail4rosey

Oh, I like it!! Showcasing healthy menu choices for the littles when dining out really doesn't happen a lot. My son will pick grapes over french fries any day of the week, but you rarely see grapes (just using them as an example) on a menu.

traceynicole
traceynicole

That's awesome to see restaurants stepping in the right direction! 

whatmommiesneed1
whatmommiesneed1

Great news! So glad to hear that restaurants are taking a step in the right direction!

_TiffanyJCruz
_TiffanyJCruz

This is wonderful. I've got too semi picky eaters on my hands, but I'm not giving up. It's good to know restaurants are giving better options for kids.

Lindsey Paris
Lindsey Paris

I keep serving up veggies in hopes that Red will do what your son did - just eat one sometime!

massholemommy
massholemommy

That sounds great and it's so nice to see that restaurants are starting to acknowledge that healthy eating starts with kids!

SeriousKrystyn
SeriousKrystyn

I'm glad to see that restaurants are acknowledging too many calories in kids meals! Good to see them putting the info out there. (We like brussel sprouts here!)


We have to try foods at least once every time they are served.

thepuzzledpalate
thepuzzledpalate

Great campaign! It is always hard to plan solid meal for kids due to the picky factor!

Tiffany Real Mom Talk
Tiffany Real Mom Talk

First of all, I've always made one meal and never gave my kids the option to eat anything else. Second, they MUST try one bite of everything and if they don't like it, they don't have to eat it. Third, we cook together almost every evening, and they take pride in the dishes they help create. That almost always eliminates issues with them not eating a dish that they would normally shy away from. Getting kids involved with meal preparation is a BIG deal when it comes to introducing them to new foods and getting them to eat things they might otherwise refuse.

MushyMamma
MushyMamma moderator

"THE TASTY CLUB" I like that and im sure my son would want to be a member too. He'd tototally fall for it.

MushyMamma
MushyMamma moderator

@Tiffany Real Mom Talk   I really should have had these standards with my son from the beginning.  He is only 5 but man does he give me a hard time sometimes.