Meet The Developer Of Kids Live Well

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I was recently able to interview Joy Dubost, the director of nutrition and healthy living at the National Restaurant Association. She is also the developer of the Kids Live Well program.

Question: What inspired the Kids Live Well Program?

“As you well know there is an obesity crisis going on in this country, and it was the vision of the CEO here at the NRA to ensure that we are moving towards solutions to address obesity, particularly childhood obesity as one in three children are over weight or obese.They brought me on board to develop a program where restaurants could voluntarily commit to providing healthier options, and that of course was Kids Live Well. Also restaurants were looking to provide solutions to obesity but also diversify the menu, and we saw how parents were starting to be more concerned with what their children were eating away from home, and the trends were showing how childhood nutrition was becoming more important in the industry. So we wanted to create a tool not only for members, but also a program where consumers could be confident when they walk in, there are meals that are healthier and good for their children.”

Question: What kind of feed back have you received from consumers on the different meal options that have been provided?

“It’s been terrific. We have received applause not only from the public health community but also from moms and parents and children. A lot of the restaurant operators who have Kids Live Well have said that parents have personally thanked them for participating in Kids Live Well.”

Question: What does the Kids Live Well program mean to you?

“Well, personally speaking it is one of the programs that I have worked on that I am most proud of because it has such a national reach, and it has touched the industry in a way that you know,  has gone above my expectations in the sense that them wanting to be a part of it, but also promote it and then with the continued movement in that area with restaurants joining it has been really great. And it has been a way to impact not only children but also parents when they dine out.”

Question: What do you think is the biggest threat to our children’s overall health and wellness?

“Poor diet and lack of physical activity. Obesity is really a complex issue, it’s multifactorial, there is no one product or nutrient that causes it. There really are so many factors that play into it. From the diet stand point of a diet high in calories with low nutrients to not being physically active like we used to be. We have become a pretty sedentary approach to our life style. Those two really play into increasing ones weight. Unfortunately as a society it’s impacted our country, and not just our country but around the globe.”

Question: What advice do you have for parents on a day to day basis?

“Well, you need to be a role model. It’s one thing to tell your child to do something and you are not doing it your self. You know, be a good role model by making sure that the foods you bring into the home are healthier option. Not to say you can’t have a treat now and then, but it really does need to be a balance. Also when you eat out, again not to say that it can’t be a treat that you have, but when you do eat out that you are looking for those healthier options. And then having that family time for physical activity. Over the week end, my friend was visiting, and she has three boys. She called one son up and he was at home, in the house playing video games. I don’t know where you were, but it was beautiful weather in the North East. I heard her say to him “You need to get off that computer and get out side and go play it’s beautiful out. You need to be out there playing and be active and get exercise.” That kind of just struck me, because as parents that is what we should be doing. Encouraging our kids to be out side and create almost a creativity side that we all had when we were growing up. We always made up games, and were out side being active and you didn’t come inside until it was dinner time or it was dark out. But now, I don’t really see that or hear that to much anymore. So again just encouraging your child to be doing what they love and be active. Just moving more is what the key is.”

Question: What hopes do you have going forward with the Kids Live Well program?

“We”ll continue to recruit restaurants to be a part, from those small operators to the large chains, and you know I would love to have every restaurant in America be a part of Kids Live Well and for parents to continue to demand Kids Live Well at their restaurants. Just to continue to grow the program is what we are trying to do.”

I would like to thank  Joy Dubost not only for her time and great information, but for all the work she has put into Kids Live Well. Our children are the future, and people like her are helping ensure we have a healthy one. Show your support to Kids Live Well and healthy choices by asking your favourite restaurants to join the program. Let’s help make a difference in our children’s future. 


Comments

  1. I love reading interviews like this!!! I always find it so interesting to hear their thoughts and reasons behind why they do what they do. Kids Live Well is an awesome program.
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  2. Thanks for sharing your interview. Kids Live Well sounds like a neat program .
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  3. I hope there’s a Kids Live Well program here too in our country.
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  4. There is so much great information here. It is so important to help kids eat healthy.
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  5. It’s so true that they model after us. If we’d get out and play more they would too. Same for eating!!

  6. Thank you for sharing your interview! There was some great information here for all of us to be aware of. :)
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