The National Restaurant Association (NRA), Washington, D.C., will debut a new Healthier Kids Fare pavilion at its 2012 Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, May 5-8, at Chicago’s McCormick Place. The establishment of the pavilion underscores the NRA’s commitment to helping its members and show attendees increase healthful children’s options on restaurant menus. This area of the exhibit floor will make it easy for foodservice operators to find a range of healthful food and beverage products to develop delicious and nutritious children’s menus, the association says.

“Children’s nutrition is one of the strongest trends we’re seeing in the restaurant industry right now,” said Dawn Sweeney, president and chief executive officer of the NRA, in a statement. “The success of our new Kids LiveWell program demonstrates that the industry is on the right track when it comes to highlighting nutritious options on menus nationwide. To further support this effort, we created the Healthier Kids Fare pavilion at NRA Show 2012 so that restaurant operators can explore the newest and most innovative food and beverage products related to children’s nutrition on the market today and continue to expand such options on their menus.”

Healthier Kids Fare will feature food and beverage manufacturers showcasing nutritious items for kids, including products with limited fat, sugar and sodium, and items that provide essential nutrients.

Earlier this year the NRA also launched its Kids LiveWell program, which features dozens of restaurant companies with thousands of locations nationwide. To participate in the program, restaurants must provide children’s menu items that meet specific and strict nutrition criteria. Kids LiveWell will be featured in the NRA’s booth No. 6300 at the concourse entrance to the North Hall on the exhibit floor. 

Exhibitors in Healthier Kids Fare do not have to meet the Kids LiveWell criteria, but must feature products that contribute to a healthier diet, the association says.