Food News Media released its second episode of “Big Picture Management,” a podcast series in partnership with the National Restaurant Association, today.
Host Blair Chancey, editorial director of Food News Media, speaks with Joan Rector McGlockton, vice president of industry affairs and food policy for the NRA, about the association’s nutrition initiatives, including recent menu-labeling laws, Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, and the association’s new nationwide Kids LiveWell program.
“We thought it would be best for the industry as well as the consumers to have a uniform, consistent law across the United States,” McGlockton says, regarding the NRA’s support of the menu-labeling law passed by Congress last March.
McGlockton also explains that there are facets of the law that the association would like changed. One is how the law fails to compensate for the inevitable variability of food preparation.
“An extra squirt of ketchup, an extra swirl of ice cream on an ice cream cone can cause variation in the nutrient value of the final product,” she says. “The FDA needs to look at restaurants using a reasonable basis outlook.”
During the episode, McGlockton also explains that the White House is encouraging restaurants to make the “healthful food the easy food for parents.”
In Part 2 of the episode, McGlockton says the NRA’s newest initiative, Kids LiveWell, will help fulfill that request. Kids LiveWell is a voluntary set of nutritional guidelines for kids’ meals that was launched with the help of 19 inaugural restaurant brands.
“We’ve seen a number of individual restaurants that have been taking steps in the last couple of years to introduce more healthful children’s items, to decrease portion sizes, to reformulate,” McGlockton says. “But we thought it would be very beneficial as an industry to come together and set some criteria for healthful children’s items and really … show our commitment.”
The podcast also includes the full nutritional criteria for restaurants to qualify for Kids LiveWell.
While the program is in about 15,000 locations right now, the NRA is hoping to double that number by the end of the year.
For more information on Kids LiveWell, visit www.restaurant.org/kidslivewell.