Consumer Trends

Kid-Friendly Success

A recent Technomic study found that healthy meal options for kids are more important to parents than expansive kids’ menus. Combined with the current issues around children and obesity, updating your menu offering for young guests may seem daunting. Several industry programs have not only been created to help operators approach these issues, but are celebrating successes. Let’s take a look at how these initiatives are taking shape on menus:

Kids LiveWell Program, National Restaurant Association

  • Celebrating its 2nd anniversary, the Kids LiveWell program now includes 140 brands representing more than 41,000 restaurant locations nationwide
  • A free Kids LiveWell geo-coded app is now available to connect parents to restaurants offering healthful children’s menu items

Let’s Move!, United States Government

  • For the first time in 20 years, the Department of Defense is updating their nutritional standards to include more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy products
  • The Partnership for a Healthier America teamed up with 157 hospitals to improve the nutrition of patient meals and in on-site cafeterias over the next three years with the inclusion of more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low calorie options and healthy beverages
  • Through Chefs Move to School, 2,400 chefs and nearly 4,000 schools have signed up to work together, teaching kids about healthy eating and helping cafeteria staff prepare healthier meals

Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and State Dinner, United States Government and Epicurious

  • The 2nd annual Kids’ State Dinner was held on July 9, 2013 in the East Room of the White House. The dinner honored 54 junior chefs from across the country whose recipes won the Epicurious 2013 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge contest. The event menu included nine dishes selected from the winning recipes.
  • The winning recipes from the 2013 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge can be downloaded from

Menu Sampler

English Muffin and Egg Sandwich: Scrambled egg whites and American cheese on a large toasted English muffin served with apple slices

Grilled Chicken Wrap Kids’ Meal: Served with apple slices and apple juice

Lil’ Naked Chicken Burrito with Beans: Includes rice, pinto beans, chicken, mango salsa, applesauce and 1% milk

Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Half a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread served with baby carrots, baked chips, 1% milk

Shari’s Café & Pies
Buccaneer Mini-Burgers: Two mini-burgers served with apple slices and 1% milk

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Restaurants have a hot opportunity to improve their reputation as employers

Reality Check: New mandates for protecting workers from dangerous on-the-job heat are about to be dropped on restaurants and other employers. The industry could greatly help its labor plight by acting first.


Some McDonald's customers are doubling up on the discounts

The Bottom Line: In some markets, customers can get the fast-food chain's $5 value meal for $4. The situation illustrates a key rule in the restaurant business: Customers are savvy and will find loopholes.


Ignore the Red Lobster problem. Sale-leasebacks are not all that bad

The decade-old sale-leaseback at the seafood chain has raised questions about the practice. But experts say it remains a legitimate financing option for operators when done correctly.


More from our partners