Committee to Meet Thursday to Discuss Bill That Requires County Restaurants to Offer Certain Healthy Food Options for Children

by Patrick Herron

The Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee will meet tomorrow, February 17 at 9:30am to review Bill 1-22, which require children’s meals offered by food service facilities to include certain healthy food and beverage options.

The members of the HHS Committee include Council President Gabe Albornoz, Council Vice President Evan Glass, and Councilmember Craig Rice.

The bill, which was introduced by Councilmember Craig Rice last month, would require any food service facility that offers children’s meal to offer at least one “healthy children’s meal” as an option.  Failing to meet the requirement would be a class A violation, which includes a $500 fine for a first-time violation and a $750 fine for repeated violations. If enacted, the Department of Health and Human Services would enforce this legislation.

The “healthy children’s meal” would consist of two or more of the following:

  • half a cup or more of unfried fruit or unfried vegetables, excluding juice, condiments or spreads.
  • a whole grain product that:
  • contains, by weight, fifty-one percent or more of whole grain ingredients; or
  • lists whole grain as the first ingredient in its ingredient list required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • a lean protein consisting of:
  • one ounce or more of meat, seafood, nuts, seeds, beans, or peas;
  • one egg;
  • half a cup of nonfat or one percent milk or low-fat yogurt, or one ounce of reduced fat cheese; or
  • a plant-based, nondairy alternative that:
    • contains the same amount of protein as, or more protein than, an item under this paragraph; and
    • is fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

The bill would also require that any food service facility that offers a children’s meal with a beverage must also offer as the default beverage one or more of the following options:

  • water, with no added natural or artificial sweeteners, flavors or carbonation;
  • eight ounces or less of unflavored nonfat or one percent milk or a non-dairy equivalent with no added natural or artificial sweeteners; or
  • six ounces or less of one hundred percent fruit or vegetable juice, or a combination of one hundred percent fruit and vegetable juice, with no added natural or artificial sweeteners.

You can read more information about the bill, and tomorrow’s agenda here.



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