This July, the National Restaurant Association partnered with Healthy Dining to form Kids LiveWell. This is a new program that highlights meals available at participating restaurants that are considered healthy meals for children. The healthy meals will have an apple icon next to the item, in order to alert parents to healthy meal options available for their children.
In order for a meal to be consider a healthy option in the program, it must contain:
* a beverage,
* 600 calories or less,
* less than 35% calories from fat,
* less than 10% calories from saturated fat,
* less than 0.5 grams trans fat, &
* less than 35% of calories from sugar, &
* less than 770 milligrams sodium.
Participation in the Kids LiveWell program is voluntary. Participating "inaugural" restaurants include Au Bon Pain, Bonefish Grill, Burger King, Burgerville, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Chevy's, Chili's Grill & Bar Restaurant, 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, & zpizza. The Healthy Dining company states more restaurants are expected to join with an expanding list of healthy dining options for children.
If you click the restaurant logos on the Healthy Dining website, the nutritional values of foods are listed. And the National Restaurant Association also provides nutritional information on healthy dining for kids in their in the Kids LiveWell program.
How many veggie servings per day are recommended for my child?
Children 2-3 years old should have 1 cup per day, 4-8 years old should have 1 ½ cups per day.
Girls 9-13 years old should have 2 cups per day, whereas for boys it’s 2 ½ cups per day.
Girls 14-18 years old should have 2 ½ cups per day, whereas for boys it’s 3 cups per day.
What about for us parents?
You serve as the best role model for your children. Let them see you eat healthy every day.
Women 19-30 years old should have 2 cups of fruits per day & 2 ½ cups of vegetables per day.
Women 31-50 years old should have 1½ cups of fruits per day & 2 ½ cups of vegetables per day.
Men 19-50 years old should have 2 cups of fruits per day & 3 cups of vegetables per day.
In addition, eating enough fruits and veggies will help with your and your children’s overall health. It helps with weight control, prevention of chronic diseases and certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and several other illnesses.
What counts as a cup?
An 8 ounce cup of raw fruit, fruit juice or ½ cup of dried fruit counts as a cup of fruit. An 8 ounce cup of raw or cooked veggies, two cups of leafy green veggies, or a cup of pure vegetable juice counts as a cup of veggies.
Two excellent resources to utilize are https://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org and www.supertracker.usda.gov/default.aspx. These websites have lots of examples, pictures and interactive tools to help you know how to make sure your family eats a healthy diet.