Enforcement of the Children’s Menu Ordinance

The ordinance requires at least one of the following food options be listed on the Children’s Meal menu or be offered verbally to customers ordering a Children’s Meal:

  • At least one – quarter cup of unfried fruit or unfried vegetables, excluding white potatoes
  • A whole grain product that contains not less than 51 percent by weight in whole grain ingredients, or list whole grain as the first ingredient; or
  • A lean protein, defined as a food containing less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams and per labeled serving

Default beverage options to be listed on the Children’s Menu or to be offered verbally include:

  • Water, sparkling water, or flavored water with no added natural or artificial sweeteners
  • Milk or a nondairy milk alternative
  • Fruit juice combined with water or carbonated water
  • A beverage containing less than twenty-five calories per eight ounces and no artificial sweeteners.

Customers will still be able to purchase a Children’s Meal that does not include any of the food items or beverages required by this ordinance, if the customer specifically requests it.

The ordinance will be enforced by fines ranging from $25 to $100 for each day of non-compliance.   Citations will be issued when food inspectors observe that Children’s Meal menus do not list the required food items or when food inspectors observe that restaurant staff fail to verbally offer customers the food items.

The ordinance was passed by Metro Council and signed by the mayor in June 2017.  A one-year education period was granted before enforcement.  During this period,  Public Health and Wellness food inspectors distributed materials and educated restaurant operators about the ordinance during the regular inspection process.

The CDC reports that the percentage of children and adolescents in the U.S. who are obese has more than tripled since the 1970’s. A child who is obese is more likely to be obese as an adult and be at far greater risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and many types of cancer.

As of 2016, nearly 25 percent of sixth graders and 18 percent of kindergartners in Louisville Metro were obese.  Policies supporting healthier eating support our city’s commitment to improving the health of all children and families.

For more information on the Children’s Meal Ordinance CLICK HERE.

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