Child obesity is more of a problem in the United States today than it was a decade ago. Now, Kids LiveWell, a program sponsored by the National Restaurant Association and Healthy Dining, is taking action. USA Today reported more than 15,000 restaurants are now representing healthy eating for kids. Chains such as Burger King, Chili's, Friendly's, and IHOP are now featuring kids' meals that contain no more than 600 calories. USA Today states the lower-fat, lower-sodium meals must have an entrée, side dish, and beverage while still fulfilling the calorie and other nutritional requirements. You can find these healthy meal options with a designated red apple on the menu at participating locations.
Over time, the group hopes to recruit more restaurants to offer healthier kids' meals, says Dawn Sweeney, President of the National Restaurant Association. There are plans to expand the program throughout the United States in upcoming weeks. Since children get about one-third of their calories from eating at fast food restaurants, having healthier options is very important, says Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The food kids fuel their bodies with at such a young age is going to effect them for the rest of their lives, so it is crucial to not get hooked on junk food.
Depending on the parents' schedules, some kids eat fast food multiple times a week. Now, Kids LiveWell is making the circumstances a lot easier on families to eat healthily, says Wootan. The program seems to be having a big impact on most restaurant chains, as menus are being modified all over the United States.