It’s disturbing but sadly not surprising that kid’s meals at fast food and chain restaurants are incredibly unhealthy. It turns out some of the meals contain more calories than a child is supposed to eat in an entire day.
I have to admit that we have continued to grab fast food several times a week, despite my decision to explore prepared supermarket foods. But Marc and I have worked together to minimize the negative nutritional impact of these meals. Here’s how:
- We never give our kids the full meal. Most of the time, we don’t even order the kid’s meal and instead get adult-size chicken strips or nuggets. But even when we do order a kid’s meal, we dole out only a couple of fries. And we order a diet soda that we keep for ourselves.
- If healthier substitutions are available, we make them. This is a pretty obvious one, but is worth stating. Opt for apples instead of fries, lowfat milk instead of soda, etc.
- The kids drink water. We always have water in the car with us, and that’s what the kids get to drink. Tyler is somewhat allergic to milk, and I prefer that Alex drinks organic milk, so we generally don’t make that substitution and instead get the kid’s meal soda for ourselves and give the kids water.
I don’t know how well this will work as the kids get older and have more awareness about the options we’re not giving them. Of course, my hope is that by then, we’ll be eating a lot less fast food and this won’t be an issue!