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Kids LiveWell Menus Must Meet New Requirements in 2022

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December 07, 2021

Eating healthy has been a top priority in recent years, and kids are no exception. To assist restaurants in developing wholesome and tasty kids’ menus, the National Restaurant Association launched their Kids LiveWell initiative in 2011. This program is designed to provide children and caregivers with plenty of nutritious options while dining out. Eating establishments who have joined the Kids LiveWell (KLW) program have seen little modifications to the LiveWell criteria, new changes are on the horizon.

Is Your Restaurant’s Children’s Menu, “Kids LiveWell” Ready?

The National Restaurant Association has updated Kids LiveWell menus for 2022

There are a wealth of restaurants, from global chains to mom-and-pop shops, that make it part of their culinary mission to provide balanced and healthy meals for their younger customers. The Kids LiveWell initiative has helped restaurant owners embrace healthy children's menus for decades. In an effort to further nutritious dining, The National Restaurant Association has updated menu requirements. If you are among the 13,000 restaurants that participate in the Kids LiveWell campaign, you will have to make some adjustments to your children’s menu by January 1, 2022.

Keeping Your Establishment’s Kids LiveWell Status

Changing an established menu isn’t always a restaurant owner’s favorite task. Luckily the modifications to children's menus in restaurants are easy to implement. Peruse your current menu for kids and see how it stacks up against the new Kids LiveWell requirements. Here’s what every restaurant owner needs to know to be ready by January 1, 2022:

  • Increasing the number of Kids LiveWell-approved menu items: To maintain standards, a minimum of two entrees and two sides will have to meet Kids LiveWell criteria.
  • Removing artificial trans-fat: In 2015, the FDA declared artificial trans fats unsafe due to an elevated risk of heart disease and asked companies to halt using them by June 18, 2018. There has been some leeway in past years as businesses and restaurants catch up. However, by 2022, all Kids LiveWell restaurants must eliminate all use of industrial artificial trans fats from their menus.
  • Eliminating fat calorie allowance: Total fat calories will no longer be assessed, however, limitations of calories from saturated fats will remain in place.
  • Decreasing sodium allowance: The rules concerning sodium numbers will be getting a little stricter next year. All meals and sides will have to plan for a reduced-sodium threshold in order to meet public goals of a 10% decrease in sodium intake.
  • Including a default beverage program: The new default beverage policy in 2022 will be limited to water, non-fat or low-fat milk, or 100% juice.
  • Adjusting the types of allowable dairy products: Expect 1% and non-fat milk dairy selections to be the exclusive beverage menu offering.
  • Changes to sugar measurements: The new program will focus on limiting additional sugars, instead of basing the criteria on calories from total sugar.

The new default beverage policy will be: water, non-fat or low fat milk, or 100% juice.

Retaining your restaurant’s Kids LiveWell status in 2022 might require a few adaptations, depending on your current kids’ menu. However, the modifications are easy to implement, and they could also help you increase your family customer base. Maximize your profits and keep food costs in check by shopping for wholesome ingredients at your wholesale bulk restaurant supply store. If you are a restaurant operator interested in joining the Kids LiveWell initiative you can learn more on their website.

Create Healthy Children's Menus for Any Establishment with Supplies from US Foods CHEF’STORE

At CHEF’STORE, we pride ourselves on supporting our restaurant partners. That’s why we stock only exceptional, professional-quality products to help keep food costs in check and profits high. We invite you to stop by one of our many convenient locations near you to learn more about all our latest products and how they can benefit your new children’s menu. Looking for some assistance with operational solutions? CHEF’STORE also has a wealth of business resources to help you run your restaurant effectively.

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