Editor's note: The following information is part of a countdown recap from the inaugural Top 100 Movers and Shakers publication. It was published in the spring of 2012. Some of the information may now be different.
Creating healthier children's menu items is this year's top overall restaurant trend, according to the National Restaurant Association, and QSRs that are adding apple slices to kids' meals aren't the only ones taking this important challenge to heart. Zpizza, Pizza Fusion, Red Brick Pizza and Ledo Pizza are among more than 15,000 restaurants that have joined Kids LiveWell, a nationwide initiative launched by the NRA and Healthy Dining.
Some concepts are introducing innovative ingredients, such as "Fresh Kids Special," a pizza sauce made with fresh, finely-minced vegetables that is offered by Los Angeles-based Fresh Brothers. The company's idea was featured on The Doctors television show in January for its ingenuity. Major chains are also embracing healthier options for kids. For instance, Chuck E. Cheese recently switched to fresh vegetables, fresh dough and fresh cheese.
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