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Panera cleans up its kids menu

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Panera Bread will next month remove artificial ingredients from its kids menu, part of a new decree the chain calls its Kids Meal Promise.

The five facets of the Kids Meal Promise outline the brand's plan to hit on several objectives: offer a variety of kid-friendly, additive-free choices; refrain from kid-centric marketing that hinges on toys and games; and discourage sugary drink consumption by offering water first, with milk and juice as secondary options.

“As a father of two, I am personally driven to serve foods that I want my own children to eat,” Panera CEO Ron Shaich said in a statement. “Frankly, the typical restaurant industry kids meal doesn’t serve our kids well.”

These menu changes will be in place as of Sept. 7.

Panera, which aims to rid its full menu of artificial ingredients by the end of the year, has touted recent steps toward that end, including its January debut of a “clean” soup menu.

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