Corporate kids' meal commitments
Restaurants are taking action to improve kids' meals by adopting company-wide standards for children's meals. These policies vary from restaurant to restaurant. Some chains have removed sugary drinks from their kids' menu, while others have gone a step further and have set nutrition standards for the entire kids' menu.
The real life impact
These efforts to improve restaurant kids' meals are paying off.
- The percentage of top 50 restaurant chains offering sugary drinks on their kids' menu has dropped from 93% in 2008, to 61% in 2019.
- In 2020, the Kids LiveWell program was strengthened and now requires participating restaurants to have healthy default beverages and two meals and two side dishes that meet nutrition standards (up from one each) on their kids' menu.
- In the past year, four localities and one state have passed kids' meal legislation
However, more work can be done to improve restaurant kids' meals. The majority of top 50 restaurants still offer sugary drinks on their kids' menus, and unhealthy foods like fried chicken, burgers, and fried potatoes dominate the menus.
Sara Ribakove's (she/her/hers) work is focused on creating a healthier, more equitable, and more sustainable food system. Sara oversees CSPI’s work on improving the nutritional quality of food for children in restaurants and reducing unhealthy food marketing.
Katie Marx (she/her/hers) provides support for numerous CSPI initiatives. She works closely on projects related to food marketing to kids and restaurant children's meals.