The National Restaurant Association (NRA) announced it is accepting submissions for its second annual Kids LiveWell Recipe Challenge, an initiative aimed at showcasing restaurant and foodservice companies’ culinary ingenuity of creating healthful options for children. Sponsored by founding partner McCormick For Chefs, the Food Away From Home Division of McCormick & Company, and Healthy Dining’s team of registered dietitians, the challenge takes a so-called “industry tested, kid approved” approach with a panel of food and nutrition professionals selecting finalists and elementary school students choosing the winners.
“We received a tremendous response for the inaugural year of the Kids LiveWell Recipe Challenge,” says Joan McGlockton, vice president of industry affairs and food policy for the NRA. “This contest is a great way for restaurant and foodservice companies of all sizes to receive recognition for their important efforts in kids’ nutrition. As this top trend in the restaurant industry continues to grow, we are looking forward to building on last year’s success.”
“Actively supporting the Kids LiveWell Recipe Challenge again with the NRA is fully in line with our company’s commitment of ‘Inspiring Healthy Choices,’” says Megan Ford, vice president, sales and marketing US Industrial Group, McCormick & Company. “This contest reflects an important industry movement and dovetails perfectly with our desire to celebrate foodservice professionals who are passionate about creating healthful and flavorful menu choices for kids.”
To participate in the Kids LiveWell Recipe Challenge, restaurant and foodservice operators can submit one or more recipes from their children’s menus that meet the nutrition criteria from Kids LiveWell, which are based on the USDA dietary guidelines. Operators and chefs can participate in four categories: independent restaurant or company with fewer than 20 units; multi-unit company with more than 20 units; contract managed food service; and independent noncommercial food service.
The deadline to submit recipes is December 15, 2013. The winners will be recognized at the 2014 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show from May 17 to 20, 2014 in Chicago.
The Challenge is a complement to the Kids LiveWell program, which the NRA launched in collaboration with Healthy Dining to help parents and children find healthful menu options when dining out. To date, more than 140 brands representing over 41,000 restaurant locations nationwide are participating in Kids LiveWell.
“Food preferences are established at a young age and continue to expand as children grow, so the restaurant industry is playing an important role in developing new enticing Kids LiveWell recipes and menu choices that ultimately contribute to a healthier generation of kids,” says Anita Jones-Mueller, MPH, president of healthy dining. “It is exciting to see the number and variety of Kids LiveWell choices continue to grow on HealthyDiningFinder.com.”