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Healthy Kid’s Menus
kids eating in restaurants and drinking water

Healthy Kid's Menus

Learn how to implement healthy kid’s menus at your retail food establishment. Healthy beverage menus help families to make the healthy choice the easy choice when dining out.

Healthy Kid’s Meal Ordinances

The Lafayette City Council adopted an ordinance in 2017 and Longmont City Council adopted an ordinance in 2021 to support healthy beverage choices for children and their families.

The ordinances make healthy beverages (water with no added sugar, or dairy milk or non-dairy milk substitute with no added sugar) the default beverage with advertised “children’s meals.” The ordinances do not prohibit a restaurant’s ability to sell, or a customer’s ability to purchase any other beverage that is available if requested by the purchaser of the children’s meal.

Ordinance Details

A restaurant that sells a children’s meal shall make the default beverage sold with the children’s meal one of the following items:

    • Water, still or sparkling, with no added sugar; or
    • Dairy milk or non-dairy milk substitute with no added sugar.

While juice doesn’t have the artificial ingredients that soda has, it has a similar sugar content and can also lead to being overweight, diabetes, cavities and heart disease. Because of this, juice is not included as a healthy beverage.

Ordinance Enforcement

Compliance will be reviewed as part of the regular food safety inspection process.

In Longmont, at the first non-compliance, no fines will be assessed, and technical support with be given. Upon a second conviction within five years, the court shall issue a fine between $50.00 and $250.00, with a minimum fine of $50.00, which the court shall not suspend. For a third or subsequent conviction within five years, the court shall issue a fine between $50.00 and $500.00, with a minimum fine of $50.00, which the court shall not suspend.

Healthy Meal Trends

Healthful Kids’ Meals is listed as the #6 trend in the National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot 2018 Culinary Forecast. And as of spring 2018, ten other cities in the U.S. have passed ordinances supporting restaurants to only list healthy drinks on children’s menus. This is happening in California, Baltimore, and here in Boulder County.

Customer Support

Healthy kid’s menus support parents by giving them easy access to healthy options. People stick to default healthy drinks 66% of the time. Any drink can still be ordered.

Health Impacts of Sugary Beverages

Sugary beverages are the greatest source of added sugar and excess calories in children’s diets. Children who consume one or more drinks a day are 55% more likely to experience overweight or obesity, 33% more likely to to develop heart disease, and 25% more likely to develop diabetes. Most notably, one in three children born in the year 2000 or later will develop Type 2 diabetes.

For children of color, research indicates this number is even higher stating that one in two children will develop Type 2 diabetes. These ordinances will help make strides toward prioritizing and improving the health of children.

Technical Support

Boulder County Public Health can provide technical assistance and/or staff training to get your restaurant into compliance. Please contact cedstrom@bouldercounty.org for more information.

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