All Hail to Burger King for being the first fast-food chain to commit to children’s nutrition. The eatery, along with 18 other restaurants across the nation, including locally, Bonefish Grill, Carraba’s, Chili’s, Outback, IHop, Joe’s Crab Shack and Cracker Barrell have signed on to the National Restaurant Association’s Kids Live Well campaign. The launch of Kids Live Well has only just begun, but any movement toward getting parents and kids to think more about what they’re actually eating is a good one. Here in the South, fast food is the norm and it’s a big reason why we’re considered among the laziest states in the country. For busy moms and dads, sometime’s it’s a whole lot easier to drive your car up to a window and hand a warm sack back to your children than it is to shop for lean chicken and a vegetable to go with it, take it home and cook it, then set the table to eat.
In all, at least 15,000 restaurant locations are taking part in the Kids Live Well campaign and lets hope it gains major traction. Those little bags of sliced apples you see languishing in the refrigerator at Subway might actually start to seem more appealing.
But what exactly do the restaurants aim to do? They claim they’ll focus on increasing fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy. The items will have less fats, sugars and sodiums. What’s great is the eateries can’t just claim they’ll do it, THEY HAVE TO. That means the race is on to make healthy food taste as good as the rest of it.
But a major nod to Burger King for being the first fast-food giant to jump into the commitment (tsk, tsk McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Jack in the Box, etc.) To be a part of the program, the King will have to include at least one kids’ item that is 600 calories or less and meets other nutritional requirements, too. Wait, I know. I said ONE KIDS’ ITEM. That is a measly slice of the obesity pie, isn’t it?
Like I said, it is welcomed news, even if it is baby steps forward. Hopefully soon those steps will turn into giant ones.
Mother, May I?
As editor in chief of Day Communications, Inc.'s Nashville Parent magazine and editorial director of nashvilleparent.com, Susan Day brings vision, creativity and practicality to solving problems and providing service for local parents. As co-founder of Nashville Parent (along with Publisher Stewart Day), Susan has pioneered the local parenting category since 1993. She's Mom to four kids ages 18, 16, 14 and 9.