Where does First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to fight childhood obesity leave the foodservice industry? It leaves its professionals scrambling to keep up with the demand to provide America’s children with healthier eating options.
Much of the scrambling has come at the request of First Lady Obama herself, asking members of the National Restaurant Association to help kids make healthy choices by providing them better food options when they eat away from home. Restaurateurs have responded, and even gone a step further with proactive menu changes designed to entice children to eat healthier meals.
For instance, Subway has started catering to the nation’s cry for healthy kids’ meals. The chain now offers several good-for-the-body choices that include a low-fat mini-sub paired with a side of fruit and milk or juice. Numerous other big chains have done the same, promoting healthier eating for children with menus designed to meet the demands of health-conscious parents.
Retailers are jumping on board with the campaign, as well. Even Wal-Mart has joined the fight for healthier eating options, and claims that the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign inspired big changes in the retail giant’s food business.
The changes in foodservice don’t stop there. The campaign to end childhood obesity is also sweeping the nation’s schools. As a result of the quest for healthier kids, chefs are partnering with schools to ensure balanced meals are provided each day. They are also teaching students the importance of healthy eating and good nutrition for a lifetime.
Food manufacturers are doing their part, too. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation has them committing to produce better items. The manufacturers are partnering with group food buyers to make healthier eating options available, especially in America’s schools.
Every facet of the foodservice industry is responding to the demand for healthier eating and more balanced nutrition in the choices offered for children. As the trend continues to gain momentum, everyone in the industry will be touched by it somehow. It looks like America’s First Lady has launched a campaign that has turned into a nationwide trend to provide kids with better meals and healthier eating choices.