Kids’ Meals – Parents and kids need healthier options

When eating out, kids want meals that taste good, and parents want a healthy meal for their growing, active children. New research shows that although many restaurants claim they have improved their menus and made them healthier, the data indicates not much has changed. Parents need to speak up and request more healthy options for their children when dining out. Usually, all children really need is something off the regular menu, but in a smaller size. Try to relay your expectations to your favorite restaurants and see if they respond. Often times, it’s all about consumer demand!

So, what is a healthy meal for children? No meal is a good meal if it is not eaten. Work together with your children to select tasty and healthy menu items that they will enjoy eating.  Ideally, a meal should include a variety of foods from at least three of the four food groups: Vegetables & Fruit, Grain Products, Milk and Alternatives, and Meat and Alternatives. Studies show that children are eating too much processed foods that are high in fat, sugar, and salt, and not enough vegetables, fruit, milk products and whole grain foods. Here are some tips for eating out with children.

It is also important to note that beverages can significantly impact the nutritional quality of a meal. Encourage children to drink water or choose unflavoured milk! Children who drink milk at meals are more likely to meet their daily calcium needs. Steer them away from high calorie, high sugar options which can contain almost a days’ worth of calories in one glass.

Not so long ago, eating out was considered an occasional treat for most families, but it is now so common it accounts for nearly half of all food spending. Kids (and their parents) deserve to be able to choose tasty, nutritious meals even when dining out, and restaurants play an important role in making that happen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box