Remember when eating out was an occasional treat? Many of us went out for special occasions, such as birthdays, when there was something to be celebrated. These days, it’s a different reality. When life gets too busy, we often turn to restaurants to feed our families. While eating out is sometimes a necessity, it presents a real challenge to feeding our families healthfully.
About 42% of kids ages 2 to 9 eat fast food on any given day. And more than 95% of kids’ meals at US chain restaurants fail to meet the basic nutrition standards of the US Department of Agriculture? It is time to get restaurants to serve kids better.
With kids eating out more than ever, parents deserve the freedom to choose healthy meals for their kids.
Kids’ health is everyone’s responsibility. Parents and community members can talk to restaurant owners about making kids’ meals healthier.
So, what do we want to see? Meals that will help our kids grow up healthy, served with a healthy drink include a fruit or veggie, whole grains and lean protein, are lower in saturated fat, salt and sugar.
The American Heart Association supports the standards set up by the RAND corporation, including meals with:
- ≤ 600 calories
- ≤ 10 percent of calories from saturated fat
- < 0.5 grams artificial trans fat per meal
- ≤ 35 percent of calories from total sugars
- No sugary drinks
- ≤ 770 milligrams of sodium
- Must include two sources of the following (one must be a vegetable or fruit, not including juice):
- ≥ 1/2 cup of fruit
- ≥ 1/2 cup of non-fried vegetable
- Whole grains are more than 50 percent of grain ingredients
- Lean protein (skinless white meat poultry, seafood, beef, pork, tofu, beans, egg); ≥ two ounces meat, one egg, one ounce of nuts / seeds / dry beans / peas
- ≥ 1/2 cup of low-fat or fat-free milk
And we know it’s possible. Momentum is building: we see healthier options popping up around the country.
Now it is time for the big guys to do the right thing and give their customers what they want. Will you help? With the click of a button, you can send a message to the CEOs of four major restaurants, asking them to make their kids’ meals healthier.
With an easy push of a button you can send an email to the CEOs of:
- Burger King