Our friends at MomsRising.org and Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility recently announced a big win. DineEquity, the owner of IHOP and Applebee’s restaurant chains, announced they are removing soda as a default option on the kids’ menu at their restaurants! Thanks to the advocacy and urging of MomsRising.org and their one million members, families will now be able to consider healthy options first .

Here’s why this matters: when kids aren’t healthy, they can’t grow, they can’t learn, and they can’t thrive. As people of faith, an assault on our kids is an assault on our core values. Sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, are the largest source of added sugar in children’s diets and if consumed regularly, they significantly increase the risk for nutrition-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

This news puts IHOP and Applebee’s in company with other restaurants like Dairy Queen, Burger King, Wendy’s, Subway, Chipotle, and Panera that have  made this step for better childhood nutrition. And while there’s still more to be done (whether that’s serving whole grain rolls, providing more fruit and vegetable options, or reducing sodium across the menu) MomsRising.org is changing the national dialogue on issues that are critically important to America’s families.

I am so grateful to partner with MomsRising on this work. This summer I became a father for the first time when my wife, Michelle gave birth to our beautiful son, August. I’ve been thinking about all the things I want to teach and to share with him – both things I want him to avoid for his protection and safety and things I want him to choose because they are good.

One of the things I want to share is a pathway to a healthy lifestyle. This holiday season, with the news around DineEquity, MomsRising.org is making this easier for parents like me.  For our family, that’s quite a gift.