Panda Express, the largest family-owned and operated Asian dining concept in the U.S., today announces its new kids’ meal offerings, Panda Cub Meals, available at restaurants across the U.S. and Canada starting today. Created based on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) dietary recommendations for children, each of the three set meals has plenty of nutritious vegetables, less than 600 calories, and one serving of fruit. Panda is the first in the industry to serve Treetop Apple Crisps made of 100 percent real fruit. These new kids’ meals come with a junior entrée, junior side and choice of water or juice:
- The Original Orange Chicken with ½ Super Greens and ½ White Steamed Rice
- Grilled Teriyaki Chicken with ½ Super Greens and ½ Chow Mein
- Broccoli Beef with ½ Super Greens and ½ White Steamed Rice
“At Panda, we strive to offer our guests a variety of balanced and flavorful options that they feel good about,” says Andrea Cherng, Chief Brand Officer at Panda Express. “Our new Panda Cub Meals are thoughtfully assembled with a nutrition-first mindset, using our most popular dishes and introducing a new healthy fruit snack. We want to make it easier for families to enjoy their favorite American Chinese meals while ensuring kids are getting the nutrients they need.”
Staying on top of the latest in nutrition science, Panda Cub Meals are approved by National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell Program. In an effort to make better-for-you options more accessible for families when dining out, this program promotes meals, sides, and beverage options that meet the latest nutrition criteria established by registered dietitians in collaboration with public health and consumer advocates. Panda Cub Meals offer an excellent source of fiber with at least 11 grams of protein and does not contain high fructose corn syrup.
“We are pleased that Panda Express will be offering Kids LiveWell-certified meals as children’s options at their more than 2,200 locations across the country,” says Marvin Irby, Interim President & CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “For nearly a decade, chefs have identified ‘kids nutrition’ in the top food trends annually, underscoring the importance of our youngest patrons and the choices their parents are seeking from restaurants. We’re proud that the updated Kids LiveWell program reflects the industry’s increasing health standards, and we know that parents can be confident the Panda Express Kids LiveWell menu options are delicious and nutritious.”
The new Panda Cub Meals are part of Panda’s larger focus on elevating the quality of their menu offerings. Other initiatives include the Wok Smart menu innovation featuring lighter options and the Panda Promise commitment to use high-quality proteins, reduce sugar and sodium, as well as remove artificial colors and flavors.