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August 22, 2008

Kids Fast Food Meals Calorie Laden

This study was not very surprising. Most kids’ fast food meals have to many calories in them. Is this some kind of news flash? Don’t we all know that fast food meals, period have too many calories in them? So why would the kids’ meals be any different? We’ve all seen the items that typically come in kids’ meals so I am not sure why this is a surprise.

Just about any combination of foods that can be thrown together for a kids’ meal in most fast food restaurants will be unhealthy. Some of the restaurants that are reported to have too many calories include Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, Sonic, Kentucky Fired Chicken and Jack in the Box. My question, of course, is why people would be feeding themselves or their children any of the crap from these places.

Also, it is important to note that the high calorie meals are not just at fast food restaurants. Chili’s Bar and Grill, one of my least favorite restaurants to go to, has over 700 possible kids’ meal combinations. However, 94 percent of them have too many calories. I have tried to order food off of the kids’ menu at Chili’s and have found that I didn’t even want to have as many calories as the kids’ options had in them and I am an adult.

So, when you are thinking about feeding your child, why would you pull into Burger King or Taco Bell? How about, if you did not take the kid to fast food restaurants, the kids would not crave such junk food. Not to mention, kids will view treats as different things. If you make Subway your fast food option, then children will come to enjoy the sandwiches they get from there. As usual, Subway was found to have decent kids’ meals. Just as they were found to have healthier options for adults.

As children and adults in North America continue to get fatter, this study is something to think about. Over the years, the calorie intake of children who ate away from home has doubled what it was 30 year ago. We all know that what adults used to consume as small drinks and portions, are now what children are being served. I am always amazed when I go into a place and ask for a small drink and get this huge cup. Then I look around and see children drinking the same size drink.

The blame was placed upon restaurant chains, opposed to parents in this study. Of course, I would like to reverse that blame and put it where it needs to be, on the parents. The thing to remember is that there is always time to make a healthy meal. Last night I decided to cook a low fat, low calorie healthy meal that would have leftovers. I have an extremely busy week where I will work about 60 hours and have two social outings. I need to be sure that I have healthy food on hand ready to go so that I am not left starving or at the mercy of fast food places. If you want your children to eat healthfully, you need to cook for them. Not take them some place called Jack in the Box.

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