Food News: Darden Restaurants and Michelle Obama Team to Revamp Menus

by in Food News, September 20, 2011
michelle obama
Michelle Obama, accompanied by Darden chef Julie Elkinton, talks customers at Olive Garden in Hyattsville, Md. Photo by: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Darden Restaurants, the company that owns Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and Bahama Breeze, recently pledged its commitment to revamp menus in an attempt to reduce calories, provide greater variety for kids and offer lower sodium options.

First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America joined the company at an Olive Garden in Hyattsville, Maryland for the announcement.

“The First Lady continues to lead the growing national efforts to make healthy food options more available and accessible, and we’re pleased to collaborate with her and the Partnership for a Healthier American on this commitment,” said Drew Madsen, president and chief operating officer of Darden Restaurants.

Building upon the First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, the company hopes to reduce calories in its menu items by 10 percent over five years, and 20 percent over 10 years. New calorie-conscious items will replace heavier fare, while some dishes are being resized and retested with sodium levels in mind.

The biggest change is coming to Darden’s kid’s menus. Dishes will automatically come with fruits or vegetables as a side dish, along with an 8 oz. serving of 1-percent milk .

What do you think? Will the new menu items be a hit?

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