As part of its ongoing efforts to promote its Kids LiveWell program, the National Restaurant Association has announced a new partnership with Kidzsmart Concepts, a marketing and communications company dedicated to engaging children and families with multi-platform educational resources.

"Kidzsmart provides valuable customer engagement tools to the restaurant industry, and we are excited to leverage their ideas to help restaurants promote their healthful Kids LiveWell menu items and enhance the dining experience for their customers," said Scott DeFife, executive vice president of Policy and Government Affairs for the NRA.

Working in collaboration with the NRA, Kidzsmart has developed a three-part program of child-focused activities for restaurants that have joined the Kids LiveWell program.

The program asks kids to take a "pledge of awesomeness," and commit themselves to being health aware, delivered through a customizable series of "Super Awesome" placemats, with optional collectible Power icon tattoos, which reward kids for their efforts. A "Super Awesome" training and goal setting manual follows in phase two, and to celebrate their ongoing commitment, the final phase is a digital app where kids create themselves as their own "Super Awesome" Avatar.

Operators have flexibility to include their respective branding and design elements into each phase, with links to each brand's website.

"Our strategy is to 'hero the kids,' to give them the power to make good decisions, and provide recognition for those decisions that encourage an active, healthy life," said Ian Macdonald, vice president of Marketing at Kidzsmart. "At the same time, the program also has to hero the individual participating brand, which the kids already love. We want to reinforce that relationship in the context of the newer, more healthful meals each partner offers."

To join Kids LiveWell, restaurants agree to offer and promote a selection of items that meet qualifying criteria based on leading health organizations' scientific recommendations. Kids LiveWell was developed in collaboration with Healthy Dining, whose team of registered dietitians works with restaurants to identify qualifying Kids LiveWell menu choices. The initiative was launched in July 2011 and has since tripled in membership.

Read more about health and nutrition initiatives

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