Kids' Meal Nutrition

What your kids are actually eating in restaurants may surprise you. The same group who told you how many calories and fat are in your favorite foods is now analyzing kid's menus.

15% of U.S. children are overweight and some experts believe what they're eating in restaurants is contributing. Sixty percent of overweight children already have a high risk factor for heart disease like high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest analyzed the nutrition content of popular meals on kids menus at 20 sit down national chain restaurants. Denny's cheeseburger and fries weighed in at 760 calories and 39 grams of saturated fat. If you substitute a vegetable for the fries, you can cut the calories in half and save 20-grams of fat.

Applebee's grilled cheese had 520 calories and 14 grams of saturated fat, add fries and bring the total to 900 calories, 21 grams of saturated fat. The groups also praised Red Lobster for it's recently revised ikids menu, which include free appetizers of carrot sticks or applesauce and grilled mahi mahi or steamed crab legs as a main course. The other restaurants say they all offer healthy alternatives and all parents have to do is ask.


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