CHICAGO — Sysco Corp. is forming an alliance with the National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell program, serving as a distributor partner in the association’s industry-wide initiative to get restaurants to offer and promote more healthful menu items.

The distributor announced the partner ship at the association’s Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show May 18-21.

Sysco plans to create recipes to offer to independent restaurant operators, according to an NRA news release. Neil Doherty, Sysco’s senior director of culinary development, highlighted one of the new recipes at a cooking demonstration at the show.

The partnership works with the Sysco Healthy and Positive Eating (SHAPE) program, which the distributor launched in 2012 to provide education and resources to foodservice customers.

In an effort to build its culinary profile, Sysco launched a marketing relationship with the Food Network in January with chef Robert Irvine, host of “Restaurant: Impossible.”

“I’m on a mission to help kids eat well and get healthy. It’s one of the best and most important things I do as a chef,” Irvine said in the release. “But families are busy and oftentimes convenience takes the place of healthy eating, but it doesn’t have to. You can still eat out, while making smarter, healthier choices.”

The NRA launched Kids LiveWell in 2011 and more than 140 restaurant brands representing more than 40,000 locations are involved in the program. To participate, restaurants agree to promote healthful menu items, including more fruits and vegetables. Restaurants and their menus are at, and also through a free Kids LiveWell app.