Childhood obesity has become a national epidemic and children’s eating habits are one big reason why. Some cities, like San Francisco, are trying to take away incentives for eating unhealthy meals. Layman’s terms? Starting December 1st, restaurants in the city are not allowed to offer a toy with unhealthy kids’ meals.
But for the vast majority of Americans, this ban won’t be a reality. And who knows? It might be such a toy attached to such a meal that appeases Jr. to the point where a holiday road trip won’t experience its wheels coming off.
Don’t get me wrong. My wife and I aren’t really the fast-food types. (Um, is Chick-fil-a fast food?) And we’re actually quite diligent when it comes to providing our kids with healthy meals. But we’ll also be the first to admit that there are rare occasions when we do stop by one of the fast food joints out of sheer and selfish convenience. That’s why I’m grateful that I stumbled across the following list of the 5 worst kiddie meal combos.
Because while we may be willing to cut a corner out of convenience every blue moon, there’s no way I’m letting my children eat one of these bad boys.
So here they are. The 5 worst possible fast food meals, nutritionally speaking, according to Dietitians with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. (PCRM) The universe of meals analyzed was contained to 5 fast food chains. I count them down from bad (5) to worst (1).
5. The BK Breakfast Kids’ Meal. I love Burger King. The actual king, that is. On the commercials. The food, not as much, though. This combo? It’s a muffin sandwich, folks, with a low-fat caramel sauce (guaranteed to contribute to lightweight obesity, I suspect). I think I just gained a couple of pounds by simply typing that.
4. The A&W Kid Meal. Luckily, my family’s safe from this one. There aren’t any A&Ws in our area. (In fact, I had to google it to find out what it even was.) This cheeseburger, french fry, soda combo packs nearly 1,400 milligrams of sodium. It makes the Ramen Noodle flavor packets look like a reduced-fat, whole wheat Triscuit.
3. KFC Kids’ Meal. Even the Colonel is trying to fatten our youth. This offering consists of pop-corn chicken, potato wedges, string cheese and a soda and delivers 34.5 grams of fat. Bears preparing for hibernation thought found it a touch too much.
2. The Wendy’s Kids’ Meal. Chicken sandwich and fries topped off by a frosty will top your kids off with nearly 800 calories.
1. McDonald’s Mighty Kids’ Meal. A double cheeseburger, french fries and chocolate milk? It doesn’t even look good on paper. According to the PCRM, this meal contains the most fat, saturated fat and calories of all the meals analyzed. And while all that obviously makes it incredibly unhealthy, the meal also leaves me with a question. Who’s letting their kid order that?
Now, I’m usually one who would try to highlight the 5 best options. But in the world of fast food, there are no good options. So if you find yourself a part of that world every now and again, just as we find ourselves, then those are the ones you want to be certain your kids avoid.
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