A Healthier Wisconsin

Transforming Kids' Meals in Wisconsin

Expanding public health and restaurant industry partnerships to transform the Wisconsin kids' meal landscape

Full Project Name:Collaborating to Transform the Wisconsin Kids' Meal LandscapePrimary Community Organization:United Way Fox Cities (Mentor), UW Madison System / healthTIDE (Mentee)Award Amount:$49,726
Award Date
Project Duration:15 months

Project Description Narrative:

In 2015, restaurant spending surpassed grocery spending by US consumers. Millennials, who are moving into the family stage, are more likely to spend money on food away from home than other groups. As the frequency of families eating away from home continues to rise, shifting the healthfulness of meals consumed away from home is increasingly important to reversing childhood obesity. Transforming kids' meals in restaurants is essential to reinforce the eating experience that Wisconsin youth have in schools creating consistent exposure for the development of lifelong healthy eating habits. This mentoring project aims to expand the unique public health and restaurant industry partnerships being developed in Wisconsin to transfer knowledge among communities to conduct restaurant nutrition environment assessments, build restaurant partnerships and gain commitments for change, and collaboratively create a roadmap to transform the Wisconsin kids' meal landscape.

Project partners: Mentor partners: Dane County YMCA, re:TH!NK Healthy Living Partnership, Weight of the Fox Valley, Winnebago County Health Department

Mentee partners: Calumet County Public Health, City of Appleton Health Department, City of Menasha Health Department, healthTIDE, La Crosse County Health Department / Healthy Living Collaboration, Outagamie County Health Department, Richland County Richland FIT Coalition, Walworth County / Working for Whitewater's Wellness, Wood County / Recreate Health Coalition

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:

  • Completed restaurant assessments in each of the nine mentee communities and presented results to communities and partners across the state
  • Received nine signed restaurant agreements, including independent restaurants as well as multi-units or chains, securing commitment from these establishments to continue working with the team toward healthier kids' meals
  • Finalized the implementation roadmap for use by local coalitions and public health partners working in partnership with the restaurant industry to increase access to and demand for healthy options for kids' meals in restaurant

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8701 W Watertown Plank Road,
Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509
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