Well Kiddos

Improving Kids Menus “One Restaurant and One Family at a Time.”

Healthy Menu Criteria

We encourage chefs to follow the current ADA recommendations and to consider the following:
♥Ingredients that are fresh, local, unprocessed, sustainable,
organic or unsprayed and are low in sugar and fat and salt;
♥ Products that only contain natural oils or fats, sugars and ingredients.
♥ Food that is free of rBST, hormones, nitrates, artificial food color, preservatives and other chemicals.
♥ Products that are GMO free.
General Guidelines: Well Kiddos (TM) Foods meet the following criteria:
  • No preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated or ‘modified’ fat sources.
  • Dairy should be hormone and antibiotics free. Organic is the best choice.
  • Offer fresh, local produce, whenever possible organic.
  • Meats and poultry should be from vegetarian feeds and humanely raised on Sustainable U.S. Family Farms and Ranches and should always be free of nitrates, hormones and antibiotics.
  • Offer olive oil as a dip for bread, serve butter upon request or as an alternative.
  • Use salt sparsely; bring out the natural flavor of foods. Many children like interesting spices.
  • Offer deep-fried choices rarely; instead, offer baked options
  • Serve water; offer juices without added sugars, fresh squeezed is a hit.
Oils: never use hydrogenated oils/fats; use vegetable broth for vegetarian dishes.
Sugar: limit sugar to 6g a serving; use natural sugars (12 grams a day for kids recommended by AHA).
Lean proteins: a portion of protein is quite small. 2-3 ounces for meat and 1/2 cup of cooked beans, 1/3 cup of nuts or one egg counts as one ounce of meat.
Fish: Choose only sustainable fish. Be familiar with the Seafood Watch Program provided by the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Whole Grains: offer whole grain breads (seeds show)
Gluten free: consider customers special needs (offer gluten free breads and pasta)
Vegan Choices:consider non dairy options, seitan, tofu or other non-animal protein sources in dishes.
Salt: Children don’t need much salt. Low sodium is 100mg per serving.
Fruit: The Environmental Working Group (EWG) dubbed 12 vegetables the “dirty dozen.” They are the fruits and vegetbles most likely to contain pesticide. be aware of the “dirty dozen”, serve organic fruits and unsprayed local fruit.
Vegetables:organic, local and unsprayed; again know the dirty dozen list.
Dairy/Calcium:Many sources of calcium come from plants and are even more absorbable than the calcium in dairy. Plant based food calcium sources include nuts (i.e. almonds), broccoli, dark leafy greens (add some lemon to help free up the calcium), tofu, soy milk, sardines, beans, sunflower seeds and molasses.
Calcium from dairy is best  organic such as organic yogurt. Serve low-fat organic milk and other low fat organic dairy products.
*These recommendations have been partially adopted from Ann Cooper. Please check “The lunchbox” for detailed information on food preperation and other nutritional infomation.

We also like the initiative that the City of San Francisco via Supervisor Mar has proposed:

Under the proposed legislation, restaurants in San Francisco would not be allowed to provide an “incentive item,” such as toys, trading cards or admission tickets, linked to the purchase of an individual menu item or meal that includes: (editor’s note: why not put the toy into the healthy meal?)

— More than 200 calories for a single item or more than 600 calories for a meal. (A typical fast food hamburger has at least 250 calories, according to McDonald’s and Burger King nutritional websites.)

— More than 480 milligrams of sodium for a single item or 640 milligrams for a meal. (A typical fast-food hamburger has 520 milligrams of sodium.)

— More than 35 percent of its calories derived from fat, unless the fat is contained in nuts, seeds or nut butters, or from a packaged egg or packaged low-fat or reduced-fat cheese.

— More than 10 percent of its calories derived from saturated fats, with the exception of nuts, seeds, packaged eggs or packaged low-fat or reduced-fat cheese.

Other requirements:

— Meals must include at least a half-cup of fruit and three-quarters of a cup of vegetables.

— A beverage may not have more than 35 percent of its calories fat-based or more than 10 percent of its calories sugar-based.

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