The National Restaurant Association has received The American Society of Association Executives' 2012 Gold Circle Award for its Kids LiveWell initiative, a program that provides nutritional information on children's menu items at participating restaurants throughout the country.
The NRA received the award for the media-relations campaign that kicked off the program last July. The Kids LiveWell launch generated tens of millions of media impressions across traditional and social media for the program and the National Restaurant Association.
Kids LiveWell is the first-of-its-kind, voluntary industry initiative that provides parents with a growing selection of children's menu choices at restaurants. It focuses on meals that include more fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy items, while limiting unhealthful fats, sugars and sodium.
"The National Restaurant Association created Kids LiveWell to help restaurants highlight their healthful children's meal choices and tell the industry's positive story of creating innovative solutions to provide ‘better-for-you' menu options," said Sue Hensley, the NRA's senior vice president of public affairs communications. "Restaurant companies from across the industry have been excited to join the program, and the positive feedback from consumers has reinforced the demand for such an initiative."
Currently, more than 90 brands representing approximately 25,000 locations are participating in the program, which was developed in collaboration with Healthy Dining, a San Diego-based nutrition consultant. To join the program, restaurants agree to offer and promote a selection of items that meet strict nutrition criteria based on leading health organizations' scientific recommendations, including the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines. Healthy Dining's team of registered dietitians works with restaurants to identify and validate menu choices that meet Kids LiveWell criteria.