Another topic I have lately been intrigued by is kid meals at restaurant. Sometimes I wonder why parent’s even buy them, but that’s a whole separate post. I am starting to look at kid meals across the restaurants most frequented by parents and children. Obviously, one such institution is McDonald’s – who can forget the golden arches?
Although, McDonald’s has made a big effort in the healthy direction I still don’t think it is enough. Looking at the nutritional breakdown of the Happy Meals at McDonald’s they still need to do a lot. For starters, most of the 2-3 year olds only need 1000-1400 calories a day. A look at the calories for a happy meal shows that they range from 500 – 700 calories. That’s anywhere from 36% to 70% of daily requirements for a 2-3 year old. Wow.. all in one meal. What the hell! What about the remaining 2-3 meals plus 1 or 2 servings of milk they still drink as a 2-3 year old.
No wonder our toddlers are gaining weight. Another interesting data point has to do with the amount of sodium in these Happy Meals. The sodium content in these Happy Meals can range from 500 mg to 1000 mg. A typical 2-3 year old should have 1000-1500 mg. Again so much sodium from just meal — unbelievable. I thought these meals were supposed to be a little “healthy”. Extra sodium for adults is pretty bad but it is just as bad for children. Research has shown that children who consume excess salt are at risk for high blood pressure and have a much higher likelihood of getting a heart disease.
One way to prevent our children from getting McFat is to not go to McDonald’s, but that’s hard especially if your kids watch TV. These companies just know how to market to kids so a practical alternative would be only take your kids to McDonald’s once in 2 weeks or once a month and on those days when they eat these Happy Meals you make sure the other meals are super healthy. I am just really happy that my kid has no concept of what McDonald’s is and has never been in one.
I am just wondering what’s so happy about the McDonald Happy Meals……. What do you think?