The National Restaurant Association (NRA) issued a statement about the decision to “indefinitely postpone” legislation in the Nebraska Agriculture Committee that would have restricted restaurants from including toys in kids’ meals unless the food met certain nutritional criteria.
“There are many nutritious choices available in children’s meals, including a wider array of fruit and vegetables, whole grains,and low-fat milk than ever before,” says Scott DeFife, executive vice president for policy and government affairs for the NRA.
“Through the action taken today, the Nebraska legislature has sent a message that a restaurant ‘toy ban’ is not an effective way to address childhood obesity," DeFife says. "The effort to judge one single meal within a day, a week, or even a month’s worth of meals misses the point regarding nutrition education as well as the variety of reasons that families choose to dine out.”
Recent NRA research shows that one of the top five hottest restaurant trends is nutritionally balanced children’s meals.
“We hope other jurisdictions will follow Nebraska’s lead and will realize that there are more effective ways to combat childhood obesity that don’t include banning toys and restricting parental choice,” DeFife says.
The organization believes that a holistic approach to food and healthy living will achieve the greatest results. NRA has worked with First Lady Michelle Obama on her "Let's Move" initiative and with "Chefs Move to Schools," an initiative that works to pair chefs with schools to help develop menus that include healthier options.