Did you know that most kids’ meals in restaurants have twice as many calories as the meal you’d serve them at home? Not only are the majority of these meals laden with saturated fat and salt, but some even reach a whopping 1,000 calories! Such a meal is high in calories for an adult, and for a child it’s just ridiculous.
In a recent speech, First Lady Michelle Obama highlighted these facts to the members of the National Restaurant Association. Mrs. Obama asked the members of the restaurant industry to take responsibility for their influence on the youth market, citing that they have a direct effect on what children consume. Providing caramel-covered apples instead of french fries is not exactly the solution. She proposes that healthy menu selections for children should be standard and not just options.
With McDonald’s VP of Communications William Whitman Jr. clinging to his ideal that “the premise of good and bad foods is misguided,” it’s going to be quite the battle for change. However, there are some simple techniques you can use when dining out to help you and your family stay healthy: Research before you dine out, know what you’re ordering, downsize your portions, make special requests for sides and desserts, and let the owner/manager of the establishment know that you would appreciate healthier options for you and your children.
For more information, see what Marian Burros has to say over at Rodale.