OSI Restaurant Partners Among Inaugural Leaders of National Restaurant Association’s Nationwide Initiative, Kids LiveWell

OSI Restaurant Partners joined the National Restaurant Association as an Inaugural Leader at its launch today of Kids LiveWell, a nationwide initiative that provides parents and children with a growing selection of healthful menu options when dining out. The newly-introduced program was created by the National Restaurant Association in collaboration with HealthyDiningFinder.com.

Cammie Spillyards, Vice President of Culinary Innovation at OSI, was on hand at the official launch of Kids LiveWell. “We are excited to be among the leaders of this voluntary initiative to support our industry’s commitment to provide healthful meal items for children,” said Spillyards.

“OSI prides itself in listening to our guests’ preferences and that means not only serving fresh-made foods cooked to order, but providing a variety of choices that allows them to eat healthfully. Kids LiveWell empowers parents to confidently make informed decisions about their children’s meals as part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle when dining out,” she added.

To qualify for the Kids LiveWell program, a children’s meal must have 600 calories or less; two servings of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and/or low-fat dairy; and limited amounts of sodium and total calories from fat, saturated fat, trans fat, and total sugar. According to Spillyards, Kids LiveWell items have been introduced at Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, and Bonefish Grill which comply with the Kids LiveWell focus on increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and limiting unhealthy fats, added sugars, and sodium.

Kids LiveWell items available at Outback Steakhouse are Grilled Chicken on the Barbie and the Joey Sirloin both served with freshly steamed broccoli and 100% apple juice.  Spillyards explained that steaks used at Outback are 100% USDA Choice, Midwestern grain fed beef that are hand trimmed and aged for tenderness.  All chicken dishes are farm-fresh and free of preservatives.  All steak and chicken served at Outback is fresh, never frozen. Outback has an interactive nutritional website to inform customers of the nutritional content for each menu item allowing them to customize their selections to meet their dietary needs when dining in the restaurant.  Additionally, an array of menu items that are clearly identified – fish, steak, or chicken – can be prepared with under 500 calories.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill’s Kids LiveWell items include Grilled Chicken and Whole Grain Spaghetti Pomodoro both served with seasonal vegetables (spinach, broccoli, or asparagus when available) and 100% apple juice. All chicken served at Carrabba’s is farm-fresh, free of preservatives and has never been frozen.  According to Spillyards, Carrabba’s currently offers a variety of items under 600 calories including the new Insalata Italian Cobb Salad with house made low-fat sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. In 2010, a selection of small entrees was added to its main menu.

At Bonefish Grill, Grilled Chicken and Grilled Fish, both served with mixed vegetables, qualify as Kids LiveWell items. Kids have the choice of either 100% freshly-squeezed orange or grapefruit juice. Among its four top honors received in the 2010 ZAGAT Survey of National Chain Restaurants, Bonefish was recognized as the Top Healthy Option.

“We are pleased to have the OSI brands among more than 15,000 restaurant locations that are participating in the initial launch of our Kids LiveWell initiative,” said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association.  “Their commitment underscores that restaurants can be part of the solution to ensuring a healthier generation and providing consumer choice in dining options.”