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Chains Overhaul Kid’s Choices With Help From Michelle Obama

Soon parents will have healthier options on Red Lobster and Olive Garden menus -- for their children and themselves.

olive garden

Photo: Marlon E (flickr)

One of Darden Restaurants' chains, the Olive Garden, will feature healthier kids choices for families dining out.

If you visit one of the big chain restaurants Olive Garden or Red Lobster, look for healthier options to appear on the menu — thanks to Michelle Obama.

The First Lady announced the “breakthrough” plan with Darden Restaurants in Hyattsville, Maryland last Thursday.

Darden, the world’s largest full service restaurant company, will make changes to the children’s menu to make it more healthful and reduce overall calories by 10 percent in five years, and 20 percent in ten years.

Obama points out in order for the initiative to work, patrons have to choose the healthier items.

“Parents, we literally have to put our money where our mouths are… We have to give (restaurants) the incentive to do the right thing,” she says.

So far restaurants large and small seem to be getting the hint. McDonald’s has pledged healthier Happy Meals, Burger King is going fresh, and other restaurant chains like Romano’s Macaroni Grill have also pledged less fat and sodium.

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Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christina-Berg/100001549893134 Christina Berg

    This is great news, but chains are not stupid, for years they offered “healthier” dishes if they were healthy they were not popular, or they  ”looked” healthy, such as certain salty chicken salads , 

    My criticism of michelle obama and the school lunches is simple, a basketball player or a school in which folks excercise a lot needs more calories, so its a parental thing, 

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