Fast Food Chains Offer No Solace to Both Weight Watchers and Parents
It appears that nearly every possible meal at some of the more popular fast food chains such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, Jack in the Box and others are astoundingly high in calories. A recent report looked into the nutritional quality of food in over 13 different fast food chains. In 93 per cent of the options available, the calorie count exceeded 430, a third of the amount recommended for children ages 4 to 8 should eat in a day.
For example, Chili’s Bar and Grill has over 700 available kid’s meal combinations. However, 94 per cent of those come in at far higher than the recommended number of calories. One meal consisting of country-fried chicken crispers, cinnamon apples and chocolate milk contained 1,020 calories, while others came in even higher. Some restaurants even have a “Big Kids” meal, meaning larger portions and of course, more fat and calories. Even though most fast food chains do have healthy alternatives, parents must wade through a minefield of fats, sugars and preservatives.
Subway was the restaurant that offered the healthiest choices. Only six of the eighteen children’s meals exceeded the 430 calories threshold. In addition, as an added snack, raisins, apple slices or yogurt were offered, and Subway is also the only restaurant that did not offer a soft drink with its meal. While this may serve to lower the calorie count, many parents may see this as “less of a good deal,” especially when several children have to be fed.
It seems that parents are looking for healthier alternatives, but fast food chains are setting them up for a fall. Conditioned into expecting high fat meals and sugar-loaded soft drinks, children do not take easily to healthy food. After all, children cannot be blamed for this, as brainwashing from television advertisements see to it that they beg their parents to take them eating, and for many parents, it is just the easiest answer.
Perhaps the answer is not raising children’s awareness, but educating parents first and foremost. If a child is raised on pre-heated industrial food, high fats, high sugars and preservatives, the child will invariably distrust any food that has not been branded with the Golden Arches. Parents should teach their children that eating out is not a matter of course, and feed them wholesome foods at home. Eating out should return to being a treat, one that is relished nonetheless, but not gotten used to.