Kids Meals a Fun Treat or a Unhealthy Option
We don’t eat out a whole lot, by a whole lot, I mean about once per week. No matter where we go I always get E. a kids meal. It seems like the easiest option.Growing up I always was treated to a kid’s meal when we went out. Was that horrible of my parents to get a Happy Meal for me when we went to McDonald’s?
It seems that things like Happy Meals seem like the devil these days, and fast food is making our kid’s obese.
I say that it is the parents responsibility to watch what their children eat. I agree that too much of something is a bad thing however, I don’t think a kids meal once a week will do to much damage. But, every day or every other day it will eventually effect a child.
According to an article I read on the Center for Science in the Public Interest most of the restaurant chains today don’t meet nutritional requirements when it comes to their Kid’s Meals.
Of the 3,498 meal combinations, 97% do not meet the expert nutrition standards for children’s meals and 91% do not meet the NRA’s Kids LiveWell standards. Nineteen of the restaurant chains offering children’s meals (56%)do not have even one meal that meets the expert nutrition standards and 9 chains (26%) do not have one meal that meets the Kids LiveWell standards.
That is a pretty high percentage when it comes to not reaching standards, but in all reality when you are taking your family to eat out you aren’t looking for healthy in most situations. When I go to a Mexican food restaurant I’m not looking for a healthy salad, I want the enchiladas, I want the chips and queso, I want the rice and beans. Unless, I am trying to be healthy then I stay away from the chips and queso and order a stuffed avacado not fried. When my son goes with me he gets a quesadilla. The same is true for a fast food restaurant, when we go, I want a hamburger, not one of their nasty wannabe salads where the lettuce has been sprayed with all sorts of nasty chemicals to make them stay “fresh”, I would rather chance it with the hamburgers.
I truly understand that it is bad to eat fast food all the time, that’s why a person shouldn’t eat that way all the time and save it for once per week.
I’ll admit I don’t feel bad about feeding my child a kids meal from where ever once per week because during the week we eat fairly healthy. Plus, my child runs what ever calories he has ingested off in a few hours. This kid never stops moving.
Another thing I would like to know is how is eating a kids meal with nuggets and fries any different than my child eating chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes(my guess is with gravy), apple, and a roll at school for his meal?
Yes, my child eats lunch at his school cafeteria. He actually likes his school’s food. I know our school’s today try to me more nutritious. E. and I look at the menu every morning and talk about what food they are serving and I always know when chicken nuggets are served he will choose that option. However some days he will come home and tell me he had a salad and a roll for lunch and I’m proud he chose the healthy option.
I know for myself and my family, we eat healthy most of the time, but we like to eat unhealthy every once in awhile.
We chose our paths, and we chose what food we and our children eat. I have noticed that restaurants both traditional and fast food have healthier options to choose from so they are trying. Its up to the parent to decide if they want a more healthy version for their child.
On another note when it came to the study. Subway was the only restaurant to meet the guidelines with its kid meals. I think that’s great because we love Subway. If you were wondering where the least healthy kids meals reside here is a list from the same study:
Applebee’s Grilled Cheese on Sourdough with Fries and 2 Percent Chocolate Milk has 1,210 calories with 62 grams of total fat (46 percent of calories), 21 grams of saturated fat (16 percent), and 2,340 milligrams of sodium. That meal has nearly three times as many calories, and three times as much sodium, as CSPI’s criteria for four-to eight-year-olds allow.
Chili’s Pepperoni Pizza with Homestyle Fries and Soda has 1,010 calories, 45 grams of total fat (40 percent of calories), 18 grams of saturated fat (16 percent of calories, and about as much saturated fat as an adult should consume in an entire day), and 2,020 milligrams of sodium.
Denny’s Jr. Cheeseburger and French Fries has 980 calories, 55 grams of total fat (50 percent of calories), 20 grams of saturated fat (18 percent) and 1,110 mg of sodium. Denny’s does not include beverages with kids’ meals.
Ruby Tuesday‘s Mac ‘n Cheese, White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, and Fruit Punch has 860 calories, 46 grams of total fat (48 percent of calories) and 1,730 mg of sodium. Ruby Tuesday’s does not disclose saturated or trans fat content on its menus or website.
Dairy Queen’s Chicken Strips, Kids’ Fries, Sauce, Arctic Rush (a Slushee-type frozen drink) and Dilly Bar has 1,030 calories, 45 grams of total fat (39 percent of calories), 15 grams of saturated fat (13 percent of calories), and 1,730 mg of sodium.
So what do you think? Kids Meals a fun treat or an unhealthy option?