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Friday, January 13, 2012

Our new kids’ menu: Helping families make healthier choices

Next time you’re visiting Eat’n Park with your kids, you may notice something different: our new kids’ menu! We’ve made some changes to help our youngest guests learn to make healthy choices when they’re dining with us.

You may recall that we launched our LifeSmiles initiative in 2010. LifeSmiles is our 5-year, $1 million commitment to supporting programs, organizations, and events that encourage families to live a healthy lifestyle. The changes we’ve made to our kids menu are directly in line with those goals. We want to make it easy for kids to put together a healthy meal while still enjoying their favorite foods, and we think our new menu design does just that!

We started by talking to our guests about what kind of information they wanted from the menu, and how we could best communicate that info to their kids. We also took stock of our existing menu choices, while figuring in the FDA’s recommended guidelines for active kids ages 3 -10.

The result: You’ll notice that the menu now resembles a game board with color-coded spaces. After all, healthy eating can be fun! Green spaces indicate healthier choices. For entrees, that means that they’re under 350 calories, and for sides, they’re under 125 calories. Together, a healthy entrĂ©e and side will come in under 500 calories – in other words, about a third of the day’s recommended intake.

We’ve also highlighted our delicious salad bar, which, by the way, is a great option for picky kids or those who just enjoy being able to select their own meal. It often surprises us how many fruits and veggies kids will eat when they get to put their own meal together! In addition, we added a new side - a bowl of grapes - and two new sandwiches that are kid-friendly and healthy to boot: A grilled chicken sandwich and a sliced turkey sandwich.

How does this help kids make healthier choices? In addition to having more options to choose from, kids can learn how to pair their favorites (think chicken fingers and pizza) with a healthier side (a bowl of fruit instead of French fries). All of our menu items are now pictured, so kids know exactly what they’re getting, and they’re empowered to make their own selections.

Finally, you’ll notice a reminder that kids have a choice at the end of their meal whether to enjoy an original Smiley Cookie, a Mini Smiley Cookie, or an apple.

It’s our hope that these changes will help empower kids and parents with choices that fit their lifestyle, which will hopefully lead to a lifetime of healthy choices.

View our kids menu here. 
See the nutritionals for all of kids' menu items here. 


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