The new “Kids Live Well Initiative” kicked off yesterday. 1,500 restaurants, including 19 food chains, will now offer healthier entrees and appetizers with lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy.

IHOP, Chili’s, Outback Steakhouse, McDonald’s, Friendly’s, Cracker Barrel and Denny’s have joined the campaign.

Any restaurant that intends to join the campaign must have at least one children’s meal with less than 600 calories. The chains also have to offer at least one side dish with fewer than 200 calories and less than 35% of its calories from sugar.

For example, America’s 2nd-biggest burger chain, Burger King, will stop including French fries and soda in kid’s meals as a default choice. “We’re asking the customers to specify what they want,” said Craig Prusher, the chain’s vice president of government relations.

This seems like a perfect compromise to me! Remind the kids how important good eating habits are, without having to banish fries to the land of evil trans-fats, never to return. As Cookie Monster would say, fries are a “sometimes food.”


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