The NAACP Maryland State Conference is elated with the recent news of Montgomery County involving the Healthy Kids Campaign. On March 1, the County Council passed healthy kids meals legislation by an 8-1 vote. While the policy ensures healthier food and beverages for kids’ meals at county restaurants, it still allows adults to purchase any items for the kids in their care.
The signing of this bill by County Executive Marc Elrich is the first step to making the healthy choice the easy choice for families at our area eating establishments. While the passage of the Healthy Kids bill is a win for Montgomery County families, our work at the NAACP Maryland State Conference is not done. We are committed to helping to create the healthiest environment possible for all children to have healthy options when they dine out. The health of our kids should always come first, and we can and must do better for the health and well-being of our kids.
The new law, which will take effect in 2023, makes healthier drinks like water, 100% fruit juice, or milk the automatic options on kids’ menus and ensures that at least one kids’ meal follows nationally recommended nutrition standards, limiting calories, sugar, sodium, and fat, and making sure fruit and veggies are included in the meal.
With the enactment of this policy, Montgomery County follows neighboring Prince George’s County, which became the first place in the country to establish compressive healthy kids meals for kids in 2020.
We thank lead sponsors Councilmembers Craig Rice, Gabe Albornoz, and the County Council for taking a first step to make each day healthier for all kids in Montgomery County.