Nearly half of parents say they visit family-style restaurants at least once a week and this summer, US Foods is introducing a new product line filled with innovative, flavorful foods that restaurant operators can easily add to their menus to keep kids and adults coming back for more.

“With this Summer Scoop product line we are changing the way families dine together by providing new menu offerings that will please the palates of even the pickiest family members,” Pietro Satriano, chief merchandising officer of US Foods, says. “Nearly 90 percent of families choose a restaurant based on its kid-friendly environment and more than 60 percent of parents want more interesting options on a kids’ menu. With this product line, we are providing operators with the products they need to capture this audience and keep their tables filled all summer long.”

Among the family friendly options are the delicious and fun to eat, Monach Puzzle Potatoes.  Designed in puzzle shapes, the potatoes bring entertainment and eating together by inspiring kids to use the shapes to build an edible masterpiece. The new Harbor Banks Basil Cod Fries pairs cod, one of the healthiest sources of low-calorie protein and omega-3s, together with a tasty Parmesan cheese and basil breading that the whole family will enjoy. The new Devonshire Cake Pops are a fun way to end a meal for any child or they can be paired with coffee for a bite-sized grown-up dessert.

Beyond creating a great menu, keeping kids entertained while at restaurants can be essential to attracting families and encouraging them to come back for more. To keep kids happy at the table, US Foods is introducing its exclusive 3-D customizable coloring placemat. Kids can see their images come to life in 3-D by simply downloading the free “colAR Mix” app which can be downloaded from iTunes and Google play.

In this edition of The Scoop, US Foods also continues its exclusive relationship with famed meat purveyor, Pat LaFrieda to introduce two new Italian sausages. Made using a traditional recipe generations in the making, the Chef’s Line Hot Italian Sausage and Sweet Italian Sausage both pack great flavors and are sure to be a hit this summer. Also new is the winning item from the US Foods 2013 Next Top Product Contest, the Chef’s Line Black Bean Burger. Created by Chef Jeremy Gawthrop of Greenhouse Grill in Fayetteville, Ark., this patty has a Southwestern flavor and a spicy kick.

Knowing date night is just as important as a family meal, US Foods introduces two new pasta options for these occasions. The Chef’s Line Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Mezzelune and the Buffalo Milk Ricotta, Spinach and Rapini Tondi provide updated twists on the classic stuffed pasta.

Building on the family theme, US Foods is excited to launch the Top Family Friendly Restaurants contest to search for the best family restaurants in the country. Restaurants will be judged on their kids’ menus, family friendliness and overall fun environment. Ten finalists will be chosen by a panel of culinary experts, including a judge from Rachael Ray's Yum-o! organization. The judging panel will announce five winners on September 2, 2014 who will each receive $2,000 worth of culinary equipment and supplies and be featured in the 2014 winter issue of Food Fanatics Magazine. Restaurants can enter through July 18, 2014 at