Healthy Kids Menu Initiative

The initiative

We know that Australians are eating out more and spending a greater percentage of their household income on food and dining out. Food prepared away from home is often poorer in nutritional quality as it is higher in total calories, total fat, salt, sugar and often served in large portion sizes. Combined with anecdotal evidence suggesting that children’s menus lack the choice and nutritional value of wider menus, this can make it difficult for parents to find healthy options for their children when dining out. This is why the Healthy Kids Menu initiative was created.

As a result, a taskforce was established in 2015 to identify and propose a solution to the issue. Recommendations were developed through a co-design process which brought together expertise and practical wisdom from parents, local restaurants, cafés, hotels, clubs and health bodies. The Healthy Kids Menu Taskforce Report, including those recommendations, was released on Wednesday, 16 December 2015.

Following the release of the report, The Healthy Kids Menu initiative was piloted by twenty SA venues in 2016 and 2017. Taking on board learnings and trials of the pilot phase, the initiative was formally launched on Tuesday, 22 August 2017.

If you are a South Australian food venue, you can join the initiative via the Healthy Kids Menu website.

How it works

The process is simple. Participating businesses are required to ensure at least half of the meal choices on the kids menu are healthy and that healthy drinks are offered to children, with water both free and readily accessible.

If you would like more information for your business please register at the Healthy Kids Menu website or email us at health.healthykidsmenu@sa.gov.au.Our Code of Practice (PDF 546KB) summarises what is required for a Healthy Kids Menu. More details and helpful tips are available in our Guide for Businesses (PDF 485KB).

Look for the smile

The watermelon smile lets you know that the venue is a Healthy Kids Menu venue, so keep an eye out for this logo when you’re out and about. If you are thinking about where your next dining out experience will be and you want to choose a participating venue, you can find their locations at the Healthy Kids Menu website.

If you are dining somewhere which is not participating in the initiative, this does not necessarily mean their menu is unhealthy as participation is voluntary, however, the more food businesses that participate the easier it will be for all families to enjoy healthier options. If you know a food business that may be interested in this initiative, or if you want your local food business to get involved, please encourage them to contact our project team on health.healthykidsmenu@sa.gov.au or register on the Healthy Kids Menu website.

What’s in it for you?

The Healthy Kids menu initiative removes the challenge of finding healthy, affordable and delicious food when dining out with kids. It increases the amount of healthy choices available for children around Adelaide and makes it easier for you to make healthy choices for your family. Additionally, children will experience how eating healthy food can be fun and tasty and you can be assured that they are getting the variety of nutrients they need to grow, learn and play.

More information

Please contact: health.healthykidsmenu@sa.gov.au or visit the Healthy Kids Menu website.

Supporting venues to provide healthier options

Eat Active is a private enterprise collaborating with the Healthy Kids Menu Initiative and supported by the Government of South Australia.

Run by Taste Studios, the Eat Active initiative provides pre-prepared, healthy meal options for children in line with the Australian Guide for Healthy Eating. These healthy meal options are being provided to food outlets such as restaurants, pubs and clubs to sell onto their customers.

The partnership arrangement between Taste Studios and the Healthy Kids Menu Initiative arose from the D3 Digital Challenge an initiative of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

The D3 Digital Challenge offers a new way of working to solve complex problems in innovative ways.

It connects government bodies with private entrepreneurs in a competitive process to create sustainable business solutions to address current social issues.   

Taste Studios were participants in the D3 Digital Challenge #6, addressing the issue of ‘how can we increase the amount of healthy food options available for children when dining out’?

The Challenge was a competitive process open to the general public where various participants submitted their concepts for addressing the Challenge topic.  A multidisciplinary panel of judges reviewed the proposed concepts, then deliberated the merits of the proposals at a Pitch and Awards night. Taste Studios were successful with their business concept and awarded seed funding by SA Health to support them to continue to develop and expand their business model, (in collaboration with SA Health.)

The strength of Taste Studios’ business solution lies in its ability to address the time, cost and food wastage barriers that outlets have with providing healthy, nutritious options to the children that visit their venues. By collaborating with Taste Studios, SA Health are able to address a supply issue that affects the provision of healthy meals in public food outlets. 

For a list of venues where you can purchase delicious Eat Active healthy meals.