Chain restaurants are getting on a health kick after growing fears of childhood obesity across America, but particularly in the South.

I think one of the things we know from parents is they oftentimes don't know which option is the healthiest, Mollie Grow, a Seattle Children's pediatrician researching childhood obesity told the Seattle Times, saying the initiative is a helpful step.

Some 19 chain restaurants are hopping on the bandwagon as part of an initiative by the National restaurant Association to offer kids healthier foods.

Participating brands include Au Bon Pain, IHOP, Burger King and Chili's.

It's all part of the Kids LiveWell initiative. You can find out more the initiative and find locations of participating branches at HealthyDiningFinder.com.

Here are some of the tasty treats they are offering kids in an attempt to stave off obesity:

IHOP is frying up a Simple & Fit Spanish Omelet: 330 Calories, 12 grams of fat

Au bon Pain is serving up a Black Bean Burger: 580 calories, 18 grams of fat

Elephant Bar is wrapping Vietnamese Spring Rolls: 380 calories, 10 grams fat  

Here are some healthy recipes from the new HealthyDining site if you want to save your kids some calories and save a little extra money:

Chili's Guiltless Grill Caribbean Salad

(Makes 4 Servings)

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 Cups of Romaine Lettuce cut into 1 pieces
  • 4 Cups of Iceberg salad cut into 1 pieces
  • 3 Cups of Napa Cabbage, shredded
  • 1/8 Cup of fresh Mint, thinly shredded
  • 1 Cup Mandarin Oranges
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/8 Cup Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Cup Dried Cherries
  • 1/8 Green Onions, sliced
  • 12 Pineapple wedges, fresh
  • Sprinkle (1/2 Tsp) of Sesame Seeds, black and white
  • 8 oz. Chili's Caribbean Dressing (recipe below)
  • 4 Chicken Breast, boneless/skinless (5 oz. each raw weight), grilled without oil or seasoning

Directions

  1. Toss lettuce, cabbage, mint, oranges and dressing in a bowl
  2. Place on plates and top with remaining ingredients

Tip: Divide ingredients into four parts and toss each salad individually for best presentation and even distribution.

CHILI'S CARIBBEAN DRESSING

  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise, fat free
  • 1/4 Cup Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tsp Garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/3 Cup White Wine Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 3 Tbsp Pineapple Juice
  • 3 Tbsp Orange Juice
  • 1/4 Tsp Orange Zest
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 Tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, use wire wisk to mix mayonnaise, mustard, honey and garlic.
  2. Add vinegar, lime juice, pineapple juice, orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
  3. Mix thoroughly.

NUTRIENTS PER SERVING

  • Calories: 390
  • Total Fat: 4.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 80 mg
  • Sodium: 560 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 52 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Sugars: 35 g
  • Protein: 34 g