McCormick For Chefs, McCormick & Company's Food Away From Home business, and the National Restaurant Association announce the launch ofthe Kids Recipe Challenge. The contest, open to independent and chain commercial restaurants, contract managed operations, and independent non-commercial operations,will highlight how the foodservice industry is addressing the importance of healthy living by providing wholesome, great-tasting menu options for kids.

As an advocate for child nutrition, McCormick For Chefs inspires healthy choices and instills a passion for flavor with products that taste great and are healthy. Building on this inherent goodness, chefs and operators can easily develop healthful recipes that promote memorable eating experiences for kids.

“A key aspect of McCormick For Chefs’ mission is to support operators and chefs who provide nutritionally balanced kids’ meals that are great tasting,” says Phil Kafarakis, vice president of foodservice, McCormick & Company. “Kids’ palates are evolving and they want food choices that are authentic and globally inspired. McCormick For Chefs helps meet that demand and deliver the flavors that kids love. Partnering with NRA to conduct theKids Recipe Challenge provides the ideal way to showcase recipes that combine our passion for flavor and nutrition.”

Reflecting an “industry tested, kid approved” strategy for the contest, chefs and operators will submit a selection of recipes from their children’s menu and elementary students will be the ultimate decision makers on the winners. Recipes must meet high marks for taste as well as follow USDA’s MyPlate guidelines and NRA’s Kids LiveWell criteria for “Full Kids’ Meals” consisting of 600 calories or less and no more than:

·         35 percent of calories from fat

·         10 percent of calories from saturated fat

·         0.5 grams trans fat (artificial trans fat only)

·         35 percent of calories from total sugars (added and naturally occurring)

·         770 mg of sodium

·         Must include 2 or more food groups (fruit, vegetable, whole grains, lean protein, lower-fat dairy)

A panel of industry professionals will evaluate and narrow down the recipes based on six primary criteria: nutritional value, creativity and originality, perceived taste, ease of use, cost and presentation.

“The Kids Recipe Challenge is another great example of galvanizing the restaurant and foodservice community around the importance of ensuring that American families have ready access to nutritious food,” says Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “We designed the initiative to be a fun and creative way to showcase healthful menu options, and a source of inspiration for foodservice operators and chefs to continue to add those options to their menus.”

Foodservice professionals can learn more about the Kids Recipe Challenge and submit their recipes at until January 7, 2013. Winners will be announced in the spring of 2013 and honored at the 2013 National Restaurant Association show.

Industry News, Marketing & Promotions, National Restaurant Association