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Applebee’s Joins Kids LiveWell and Offers Healthier Children’s Menu

Applebee’s, the world’s largest casual dining chain, just announced good news. The restaurant will be joining Kids LiveWell, a great program that helps parents and children make more healthful choices when eating out at a restaurant.

The company has received the Kid LiveWell endorsement on their children’s grilled chicken sandwich with steamed broccoli and 1 percent milk or apple juice. The side options can also include orange juice or a side of applesauce.

Menu items can get a Kids LiveWell endorsement if they meet the nutritional criteria, which were created from the standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The Kids LiveWell program was created by the National Restaurant Association and Healthy Dining.

This step is just one of many needed in the restaurant industry. Diners, children especially, often consume very high calorie and low nutrient foods when eating out. Applebee’s executive chef, Jessica James, further explained the restaurant’s new project.

“Our new grilled chicken sandwich for kids lets the entire family eat out while keeping their calories and portions in check. We’re leading the casual dining industry with lower calorie menu options and removing the guilt from dining out.”

Hopefully, in time, more items on the menu will also be able to receive the Kids LiveWell endorsement. For now it is just the chicken sandwich.
Applebee’s has a good track record with trying to create a menu that is suitable to diners wanting to control their portions and calories. Applebee’s has included Weight-Watchers-endorsed meals on their menu since 2004. They’ve also offered a “Under 550 Calories” menu since 2009.

Eating out can be healthy, and children can learn that there’s more than cheeseburgers and fries on a kid’s menu. It looks as though the steps are finally heading in the right direction.

May 7th, 2012

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