The National Restaurant Association announced that the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) has become the first commodity board sponsor of the Association’s award-winning Kids LiveWell program, a voluntary industry-wide initiative designed to help make the healthful choice the easy choice when dining out with children.
“The new partnership between Kids LiveWell and the California Milk Advisory Board offers valuable and exciting opportunities to promote the integral role that low-fat dairy plays in building a healthful meal—particularly for growing children,” says Joan McGlockton, vice president of industry affairs and food policy for the National Restaurant Association. “The sponsorship shows the reach of the Kids LiveWell program across the entire food industry and will help current participants and restaurants looking to join the program by identifying low-fat dairy options that provide important nutrients for the youngest of those we serve in restaurants every day.”
“We’re pleased to be a part of a program that promotes nutritious and wholesome restaurant meals for children,” says Jennifer Giambroni, director of communications for the CMAB. “Milk and dairy products are an essential part of healthy eating and developing good eating habits early on can help children make their own healthy food choices later in life. In addition to being full of flavor, California milk and other dairy products are an excellent source of calcium and other important nutrients like vitamin D, phosphorus, riboflavin and protein.”
The 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend Americans build a healthy plate with nutrient-rich foods, including low-fat or fat-free dairy. Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt contribute essential nutrients that are important for the good health of both adults and children.
The NRA launched Kids LiveWell in 2011 to help restaurants highlight their better-for-you menu choices for children. To join the program, restaurants agree to offer and promote a selection of healthful menu items that meet nutrition criteria based on leading health organizations’ scientific recommendations, including the USDA Dietary Guidelines.
Kids LiveWell was developed in collaboration with Healthy Dining, whose team of registered dietitians works with restaurants to identify and validate the qualifying menu choices. Participating restaurants and their qualifying items can be found on HealthyDiningFinder.com, and also via a free Kids LiveWell app in the Android Market and iTunes app store. Currently, Kids LiveWell includes more than 145 restaurant brands representing more than 42,000 locations nationwide.