Proposed ordinance could change kids menus at Louisville restaurants

Proposed ordinance could change kids menus at Louisville restaurants
If passed, the ordinance would force restaurants to change their kids menus. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Councilman Rick Blackwell (D-District 12)
Councilman Rick Blackwell (D-District 12)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A proposed Louisville ordinance could force restaurants to change their kids menus to make healthier choices the default option.

For example, instead of a child getting a soft drink with their kids meal, they would automatically get milk, water or sugar-free flavored water -- unless the parent decides to change it.

The change would also require restaurants to include healthier choices like fruits and vegetables for the main course. Those would be a default menu option. But parents could still ask for french fries instead of veggies.

The ordinance is sponsored by Vicki Aubrey Welch and Rick Blackwell. Blackwell told WAVE 3 News it's about trying to help get kids healthy, and is not about mandating anything.

"For a lot of people, they'll pick the child's meal and they'll take whatever the default option happens to be," he said. "So what we want it to be is have some healthy options that you could choose."

Some republican members of the council say an ordinance like this is government over-reach.

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The president of the Kentucky Restaurant Association said some of their members are worried about having to change meals and re-print menus. In some cases, they may unbundle the child meals altogether.

The ordinance is very young and still in committee. Blackwell said they are making changes to some of the language. He is confident the ordinance will have enough support to pass.

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