Noodles & Company launched a new kids’ meal Wednesday for “future foodies” that gives a build-your-own option to customers ages 10 and under.
Priced at around $5, the new kids’ meal option allows young diners to choose from four entrées, along with a drink and sides such as broccoli, carrots, fruit, applesauce and a Kids Crispy, a housemade version of a Rice Krispies treat.
Entrée choices include spaghetti and meatballs, Wisconsin macaroni and cheese, buttered noodles or grilled chicken breast with marinara dipping sauce.
Noodles & Company partnered with the National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell program to design the options with nutrition experts. Dishes range from 150 calories for the grilled chicken breast, to 540 calories for the spaghetti and meatballs.
The move is part of the chain’s ongoing effort to highlight wholesome, made-to-order fare, as well as to focus more on families, a demographic that has been a strength for the brand.
The new kids’ meals are available across the Broomfield, Colo.-based chain’s 470-unit system.
For the first year of the launch, through Sept. 29, 2016, Noodles & Company will donate 5 cents for every kids’ meal ordered to feed children in need through the nonprofit organization No Kid Hungry, up to $100,000.
“We know that today’s kids represent tomorrow’s future, and face a more complex set of challenges than at any point in history,” said Mark Mears, Noodles & Company executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “Therefore, our goal at Noodles & Company is to empower kids to ‘Use Your Noodle/Make A Difference’ in ways that help make their communities — and indeed our world a better place — one bowl at a time.”
In addition to the meal options, Noodles & Company is also offering kids a new interactive placemat with brain teasers, puzzles and games based on principles of STEAM, a science, technology, engineering, art and math emphasis used in a growing number of schools.