The National Restaurant Association announced the Beef Checkoff Program as a sponsor of the Association’s Kids LiveWell program, a voluntary industry-wide initiative designed to help make the healthful choice the easy choice when dining out with children.

The NRA applauded the checkoff for its commitment to promoting and developing nutritious kids’ meals.

“The partnership between Kids LiveWell and the Beef Checkoff offers valuable opportunities to promote the important role that lean protein plays in building a healthful meal,” says Joan McGlockton, vice president of industry affairs and food policy for the NRA.

“The sponsorship will aid current participants and restaurants looking to join the program by identifying healthful, innovative recipes that highlight lean cuts of beef, helping to provide the industry’s youngest patrons with the essential nutrients they need,” he says.

In conjunction with its sponsorship, the Beef Checkoff has identified a collection of kid-friendly recipes in its database of triple-tested, on-trend recipes that meet the Kids LiveWell criteria. To make it turnkey for operators to incorporate these items, recipes, nutritionals and pairing suggestions are available online.

“America’s farmers and ranchers are committed to continuing to raise and supply nutritious beef for families, and we’re grateful for efforts like Kids LiveWell and its participating restaurants to highlight health for consumers,” says Clay Burtrum, a stocker and cow-calf operator from Stillwater, Oklahoma, and chair of the checkoff’s nutrition and health subcommittee.

“The kids’ menu can be a deciding factor for where to eat and at the same time, parents themselves want a great steak or burger when dining out. By menuing a kids’ meal that includes beef, operators can attract parents making meal-time decisions for their family,” he says.

The 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend building a healthy plate with nutrient-rich foods, including lean protein. High quality protein, including lean beef, provides nutrients that are vital for a healthy and active lifestyle from infancy to adulthood.

The NRA launched Kids LiveWell in 2011 to help restaurants highlight better menu choices for children. To join the program, restaurants agree to offer and promote a selection of healthful menu items that meet nutrition criteria based on leading health organizations’ scientific recommendations, including the USDA Dietary Guidelines.

Kids LiveWell was developed in collaboration with Healthy Dining, whose team of registered dietitians works with restaurants to identify and validate the qualifying menu choices. Participating restaurants and qualifying items can be found on, and also via a free Kids LiveWell app in the Android Market and iTunes app store.

Currently, Kids LiveWell includes 150 restaurant brands representing more than 42,000 locations nationwide.

Health & Nutrition, Industry News