Yesterday when my friend Mike posted this on facebook the wheels started turning...I had to write a post about 'kid's menus'.
I think about my children's diet every single day of my life. I plan menus, I shop, I market, I cook. Alongside their health and happiness their diet is the MOST IMPORTANT thing to the Chef & I. We decided a long time ago that nothing bad would go into thier bodies, probably as a reaction to all the bad shit we have put in our own as well as a reaction to our son's kidney disease.
So when Mike posted yesterday, my first thought was this: How do parents not get/care/understand that what they are allowing to go into their children's body affects their children LIVES? How does a mother or father convince themselves that it is ok that her four year child eats this on a daily basis? HOW?
When you order off of the kids menu, you are most likely ordering the most UNHEALTHY thing you could ever order for your child. Kids menus are the antithesis of healthy. They are made up of foods that parents have programmed themselves and their children into thinking that they are good for your children. Well, guess what? They're not good for your children, they are not got for you, they are not good for your dog, hell, they are not good for anyone.
Check out these kids menu nutritional info. I dare you not to throw up in your mouth:
Outback Steakhouse Kookaburra Chicken Fingers meal with Aussie Fries
60 g fat (21 g saturated)
2,052 mg sodium
Fat equivalent: 12 Frosted Chocolate Fudge Pop-Tarts!
Olive Garden Fettuccini Alfredo meal
800 calories 48 g fat (30 g saturated) 810 mg sodium
Saturated fat equivalent: 1.5 full jars of Nutella!
Applebee’s Grilled Cheese with French fries
1,020 calories 54 g fat (17 g saturated) 2,170 mg sodium
Calorie equivalent: 400 Cheddar Goldfish Crackers. (That’s 1.3 full bags!)
Here’s the crazy part: You can make a grilled cheese sandwich in your own house — using real cheese and toasting it with real butter — and still manage to slide in at about 300 calories. This one has 620 calories, and the fries account for the extra 400
Denny’s Slap Shot Sliders (2) meal with Finish Line Fries
1070 calories 53 g fat (16 g saturated, 2 g trans) 1180 mg sodium
Calorie equivalent: 505 Jujubes (That’s just over 2 full boxes!)
Friendly’s Mac & Cheese Quesadilla meal with Friendly Frank, Shirley Temple and Friend-z Peanut Butter Cup
2,270 calories 109 g fat (45 g saturated) 3,320 sodium
Calorie equivalent: 45.5 Glazed Munchkins from Dunkin Donuts!
UMMMMMMM....CAN YOU SAY BARF???? I dare any one of you to eat one meal that contains 2,270 calories & 109g of saturated fat!!!
Just reading this data ignites my hatred for chain restaurants. It also makes me sad for the kids who eat this garbage not knowing any better. As parents it is our job, I believe, to give our children a better life than our own. That doesn't mean, give them a bunch a toys and call it a day. It means that we make sure whatever path we have chosen for our kids lives, it is the longest path possible. Make choices that will enhance and enrich your child's life, not choices that will cause your child harm or sickness.
Starting at home is the key to eliminating 'the kids menu' from your childrens' lives. Feed your kids real food, real fruits and vegetables, and cook with them. Make food in a pan, not out of a box. Use your oven. THROW OUT YOUR MICROWAVE!! Respect your children's bodies by respecting what you put in them. When you make dinner, encourage your kids to try something new. Don't force them to eat it, just try a bite. You'd be surprised how many times they end up liking it. Make dinner for your family, not for individual members. I make one dinner for my family. If my kids don't want to eat it, they don't. They can pick a fruit of veggie to compensate or they can save their dinner for later. It may sound harsh, but I totally believe this is the reason the mini's eat asparagus, pork, artichokes, sunchokes, squash, apples, carrots, lettuce, grapes, bananas, strawberries, broccoli, KALE, celery, and more!! Introducing these foods at home makes it possible to completely ignore the kids menu the next time you and your family go out to eat!
As adults we focus so much on our own health. Every time I turn on thee TV I am inundated by workout infomercials, anti-aging beauty secrets, diet pills, diet plans, and drug commercials. As a society we are constantly looking for our own fountain of youth, while ignoring our children. I wonder what would happen if we focused all that energy we waste on our own vanity and redirect it towards our children? First thing, I'm guessing is all those dreaded 'kids menus' would be a thing of the past.