Healthy kid's meals and child nutrition is one of the top trends today. In this interview with Scott DeFife, Executive Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs with the National Restaurant Association, we explore what the NRA is doing and what operators are doing to successfully incorporate better choices into the kid's meal offerings.

- Replace a side item with a fruit or vegetable instantly increases the nutritional value of any meal

- Take an adult meal (such as a chicken breast) and offer a child's version (such as chicken strips)

Restaurants that join Kids LiveWell agree to offer and promote a selection of items that meet qualifying nutrition criteria based on leading health organizations' scientific recommendations, including the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines. Healthy Dining's team of registered dietitians has worked with participating restaurants to identify and validate the menu choices that meet the Kids LiveWell criteria. Restaurants participating in the Kids LiveWell program:

- Offer at least one full children's meal (an entrée, side and beverage) that is 600 calories or less; contains two or more servings of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and/or low-fat dairy; and limits sodium, fats and sugar;

- Offer at least one other individual item that has 200 calories or less, with limits on fats, sugars and sodium, and contains a serving of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein or low-fat dairy);

- Display or make available upon request the nutrition profile of the healthful menu options; and

- Promote/identify the healthful menu options.

Restaurants that have menu items that qualify can be listed on the Healthy Dining Finder website.
There is a nominal fee to participate in the program. For more information on joining the Kids LiveWell program, visit

For the complete interview, listen to the podcast below:

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