Sysco SHAPE: Get into it!


Frequently Asked Customer Questions

What is the National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell program?

In July 2011, the National Restaurant Association (NRA), in collaboration with Healthy Dining Finder, launched an industry-wide initiative called the Kids LiveWell (KLW) program to help parents and children select healthful menu options when dining out. Restaurants that participate in the voluntary program commit to offering and growing their selection of healthful meal items for children, with a particular focus on increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy, while limiting unhealthy fats, sugars and sodium.

The KLW program benefits restaurateurs and guests equally. Participating restaurants receive third-party verification and promotional materials for qualified meals and menu items; parents benefit from accurate information to help them make informed decisions about their child’s meal.

As of July 2013, Sysco Corporation serves as the sole distribution partner of this award-winning program.

Why did Sysco partner with Kids LiveWell?

The launch of Sysco Healthy And Positive Eating, or SHAPE, represents a great opportunity to take a leadership position in promoting kids’ health and education around nutrition. This partnership enables restaurants to easily incorporate pre-approved, nutritionally analyzed recipes into kid-friendly menu offerings.

Why is Kids LiveWell important?

When dining out as a family, parents can demonstrate that healthy eating is fun and tasty, thereby having a positive influence on their child’s eating habits and choices. Restaurants participating in the KLW program make it more convenient for busy parents to identify dining locations that offer healthy, nutritious and delicious meals for the pickiest of eaters. KLW-approved recipes are specifically designed to promote the increased consumption of lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Sysco’s own KLW-approved recipes are innovative and delicious, developed by Sysco chefs and dietitians across the country and taste tested by our panel of kid judges.

Why participate?

Sysco is dedicated to providing healthy food choices for kids, which creates an ideal opportunity for restaurants to participate in a nationally recognized program backed by robust marketing support. According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast, two of the top five culinary trends include children’s nutrition and health/nutrition. Participation in the Kids LiveWell program will help meet this growing consumer demand, particularly when it comes to kids.

Getting started is simple. With the demand for healthier offerings on the rise, Sysco and KLW can help equip restaurants with the tools and resources they need to serve guests accordingly. Recipes are already developed and approved by Sysco’s team of registered dietitians to meet strict KLW guidelines. This eliminates the need for foodservice operators to commit resources to researching and developing tasty, nutritionally adequate menu items.

How many restaurants currently participate in the Kids LiveWell program?
Nearly 135 restaurant brands representing more than 40,000 locations nationwide are actively involved in the KLW program. These restaurants offer young guests a selection of Kids LiveWell choices. The NRA and Sysco look forward to announcing additional participating restaurants and menu options on a regular basis.

How can my restaurant join the Kids LiveWell program?

Restaurants that join Kids LiveWell agree to offer and promote a selection of items that meet qualifying nutrition criteria based on leading health organizations’ scientific recommendations, such as the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines.

In order to qualify for the Kids LiveWell program, restaurants must:

  • Offer at least one full children’s meal (an entrée, side and beverage) that is 600 calories or less; limits sodium, fats and sugar; and contains two or more servings of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and/or low-fat dairy.
  • Offer at least one other individual side item with 200 calories or less that limits fats, sugars and sodium, and contains a serving of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein or low-fat dairy.
  • Display or make available upon request the nutrition profile of healthful menu options.
  • Identify and promote healthful menu options.

What nutrition criteria are required in order to participate in the Kids LiveWell program?

A restaurant’s featured Kids LiveWell menu items must meet specific nutrition criteria recommended by leading health organizations’ scientific guidelines and verified by Healthy Dining Finder’s team of registered dietitians. All Sysco-provided recipes have been pre-approved to meet the following KLW guidelines.

Kids LiveWell nutrition criteria for full kids’ meals (entrée, side option and beverage):

  • Calories: 600 or less
  • Total calories from fat: 35% or less
  • Calories from saturated fat: 10% or less
  • Trans fat (artificial trans fat only): less than 0.5 grams
  • Total calories from sugars (added and naturally occurring): 35% or less
  • Sodium: 770 mg or less
  • Must also include two or more food groups (see below)

Kids LiveWell nutrition criteria for side items:

  • Calories: 200 or less
  • Total calories from fat: 35% or less
  • Calories from saturated fat: 10% or less
  • Trans fat (artificial trans fat only): less than 0.5 grams
  • Total calories from sugars (added and naturally occurring): 35% or less
  • Sodium: 250 mg or less
  • Must also include at least one food group (see below)

To qualify, full meals must include two of the following food groups; sides must include at least one:

  • Fruit: more than ½ cup (includes 100% juice)
  • Vegetables: more than ½ cup
  • Whole grains
  • Lean protein: more than 2 ounces of meat (skinless white meat poultry, fish/seafood, beef, pork, tofu), 1 egg or egg equivalent, 1 ounce nuts/seeds/dry bean/ peas (lean as defined by USDA)
  • Lower-fat dairy (1% or skim milk and dairy): more than ½ cup

Note: while not considered low fat, 2% milk is allowed if included in the meal and the meal still fits the full meal criteria.

Where can I find Sysco’s recipes?

Sysco’s recipes will be available in Sysco’s ChefRef and eNutrition applications. Hard-copy recipe books are reserved for program participants and are delivered directly to the customer upon sign-up in the KLW program.

What benefits do restaurants receive for participating in Kids LiveWell?

If you want your restaurant to be among those that provides healthful options for our youngest generation, Kids LiveWell can help showcase your commitment by providing a flexible, turnkey program for verifying and promoting qualified menu items. Research proves that restaurants capitalizing on the healthier dining trend-turned-lifestyle will continue to benefit from additional sales and traffic for years to come.

Benefits for participating restaurants include:

  • Pre-approved healthy recipe book
  • Placement on Healthy Dining Finder’s Kids LiveWell website
  • Placement on the Kids LiveWell app
  • Marketing and promotion support of the Kids LiveWell program by the National Restaurant Association, Healthy Dining Finder and Sysco via press release
  • A Kids LiveWell icon that can be used on menus to indicate healthful choices
  • Social media recognition:
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Sysco Health website
    • Kids LiveWell website

What are the costs associated with participation?

Through Sysco, participation in the KLW program is available at a special discounted rate of $99 annually for any restaurant operator with less than ten units; and for $199 annually for any restaurant operator with 10 to 19 units. Operators with 20 or more units will be provided a custom solution upon request.

What is the product guide?

The product guide is provided in the Sysco SHAPE/Kids LiveWell toolkit. This guide will outline a list of ingredients necessary to prepare and serve recommended recipes. You will also have the ability to add in your own SUPCs.

How do I sign up?

Complete the Enrollment Form here and submit to