The Milford, Conn.-based Subway restaurant chain is racking up honors from a number of healthy-eating programs for its nutritious menu offerings.
The Washington, D.C.-based Center for Science in the Public Interest singled out the chain of more than 39,000 locations in 102 countries as the only one meeting its kids’ meal criteria.
The Hockessin, Del.-based Produce for Better Health Foundation named the company an Industry Champion, and Subway became the first quick-service restaurant chain with meals that merit the Dallas-based American Heart Association’s Heart Check mark.
All eight of Subway restaurants’ Fresh Fit for Kids meal combinations met CSPI’s nutrition criteria, the organization said, adding that Subway is the only restaurant chain that does not offer sugar drinks as an option with its kids’ meals.
Instead, kids’ choices include low-fat milk or bottled water along with apple slices and a variety of kid-sized subs.
“Our goal has always been to provide the most nutritious, balanced kids meals in the industry, and we are proud to be recognized by CSPI for achieving that goal,” Lanette Kovachi, corporate dietitian for the Subway brand, said in a news release.
The American Heart Association launched its Heart-Check Food Certification program in 1995 to identify healthful food items in supermarkets, but it now has expanded the red-and-white check mark to restaurants.
The association said Subway was the first restaurant chain to apply for the certification and meet the nutritional criteria required to certify meals and display the Heart-Check mark.
Several of the chain’s meal offerings meet the Heart-Check standards.
Subway was recognized by PBH for enabling customers to build their sandwiches or salads to order, adding their choice of fresh vegetables and toppings.
The restaurants also feature the “Fruits and Veggies — More Matters” logo on tray liners and other signs and include the message in radio spots and social media content.
Subway says its 6-inch sandwich, when made to its standard formula, includes two servings of vegetables.
Fresh vegetable options include spinach, green peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and cucumbers.
Customers can pair their meals with fresh apple slices, strawberry yogurt parfaits or apple juice.