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Healthy fast food for kids? Only one option, report says
A new study confirms what smart parents ought to know about what they’re allowing their children to put in their mouths.
Pretty much all fast food aimed at children is unhealthy.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest report, released March 28, looked at almost 3,500 chain meals for children who are 4 to 8, finding that 97 percent failed to meet the Washington, D.C. nonprofit’s nutritional criteria — that is, a kids’ meal cannot be more than 430 calories, have more than 35 percent of calories from fat or more than 10 percent of calories from saturated plus trans fat, or more than 35 percent added sugars by weight or more than 770 milligrams of sodium.
Some of the worst nutritional offenders in the advocacy group’s "Kids' Meals: Obesity on the Menu" report included Applebee’s grilled cheese on sourdough with fries and 2 percent chocolate milk (1,210 calories), Chili’s pepperoni pizza with homestyle fries with a soda (1,010 calories) and Ruby Tuesday’s mac ’n cheese with white Cheddar mashed potatoes and fruit punch (860 calories).
"One out of every three American children is overweight or obese, but it's as if the chain restaurant industry didn't get the memo," said Margo G. Wootan, the group’s nutrition policy director, in a news release. "Most chains seem stuck in a time warp, serving up the same old meals based on chicken nuggets, burgers, macaroni and cheese, fries and soda."
Subway’s Fresh Fit for Kids subs were the exception. The group applauded the sandwich chain for offering low-fat milk or bottled water instead of soda and for including apple slices.
Read the full report here.