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Kids Meals – Loaded With Calories

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: August 5, 2008 | Categories: Announcements, Family and Health, In The News

jpg_breakfast26 The kids meals at your favorite restaurants are loaded with too many calories and not healthy calories either, according to a report released Monday by a nonprofit public health group.

Some of the restaurants in the study were Chilis, KFC, Taco Bell, Sonic, Jack in the Box and Chick-Fil-A, as well as McDonalds and Wendys.  It says that these restaurant’s kids meals are way too high in calories.

Some of the calories in one single kids meal has the recommended amount of calories for an entire day for an adult. 

It is recommended that a 4 to 8 year old get no more than 430 calories (this is based on children who are sedentary) in a single meal.  However, every restaurant in the study had more than the 430 calories, with the exception of Subway.  Your child can eat a very healthy meal at Subway, and Subways is the only restaurant to NOT offer a soft drink with their kids meals.

Most restaurants do have healthy (at least healthier) choices on their menus, it is up to us as parents to teach our children to make healthy food choices.   Teaching our children to make healthy food choices is important to controlling their weight.  Many parents use food as a reward for their kids or as a bribe to get them to do things.  I know it could be an easy trap to fall into, but it is important we don’t do this.

Our children are growing bigger and bigger (childhood obesity), and it is up to us as parents to teach our children what is healthy…and we have to do this by example.  If our kids see us eat healthy foods and we only bring healthy food choices into our homes–they will eat healthy as well.

When I was young, eating out was a special occasion, but now it’s a lifestyle.  So with so many kids eating out so often, it can only be a contributing factor to the childhood obesity epidemic. 

So let’s take responsibility for what our children put into their mouths!  I know it is much harder to control what our teens are eating when they are away from us…but if we have taught them when they were young good healthy eating habits, maybe…just maybe, they will make healthy choices as they get older. 

I do also believe that all restaurants should have to list nutritional information for all foods on their kids menu.

We would love to hear your opinion on this!  Hope to hear from you.

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