Applebee's revamps kids menu to include healthier foods

10 meals meet NRA's Kids LiveWell nutrition criteria

According to a new report from the National Restaurant Association (NRA) healthy kids meals and children's nutrition remain a top culinary trend for 2014. That's why Applebee's restaurants says they decided to announce a completely redesigned kids menu with 10 meals that meet the NRA's Kids LiveWell nutrition criteria and more than 650 combinations of entrees, sides and beverages.

The restaurant says the new kids menu moves away from a "one-size-fits-all" approach to a two-tiered entrée option with a selection of sides and beverages to complete the meal. With 26 menu items, the restaraunt says their new kids menu offers more items than any other national casual dining restaurant, including kid-approved favorites and healthier options.

The 10 new meals approved by Kids LiveWell are the most among all national casual dining restaurant brands according to Applebees. Representatives say French fry orders declined from 73 to 39 percent during a three-month testing period for the new Applebee's kids menu.

"Because of today's busy lifestyle, it can be a struggle for on-the-go families to find options that are healthy and kid-approved," said Marc Prince, director of operations. "With our new kids menu, parents can concentrate on engaging with their family while knowing their growing kids can get a fun, healthy meal at Applebee's."

The new Applebee's kids' menu includes:
· A two-tiered menu with entrée options for older kids with bigger appetites and younger kids with smaller appetites.
· 10 new Kids LiveWell-approved meals with three entrée options, including chicken, steak and pasta. Previously, the Applebee's kids' menu had just two meals that qualified under the Kids LiveWell nutritional guidelines.
· 2 Kids LiveWell-approved side items, and 11 total side choices, including Kids LiveWell-approved and all-natural GoGo squeeZ Applesauce and Kids LiveWell-approved steamed broccoli, apple slices with all-natural yogurt, all-natural yogurt and strawberries, white rice, salads and carrots or celery with ranch dressing.
· On Sunday Family Day, all kids meals are just $1.99.

Applebee's says it's commitment to families goes beyond improving menu items for kids. The restaurant updates its Unbelievably Great-Tasting and Under 550 Calories™ and Weight Watchers®-endorsed menus on a continuous basis to include new, flavorful and satisfying healthier dishes.

Since 2004, Applebee's says it has been the only restaurant chain to offer Weight Watchers®-endorsed entrées. In addition, Applebee's has offered its Unbelievably Great-Tasting and Under 550 Calories™ menu for the past five years.