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We all know fast food is supposed to be quick and easy rather than healthy. Anytime you gain convenience you have to sacrifice something else. For example, when you buy anything from Walgreens or a gas station you expect to pay a little more. Well with the convenience of fast food comes the sacrifice of healthy food options. Or so we’ve been led to believe. However, over the past 5 to 10 years fast food chains have gotten drastically healthier, especially with their kids meals. The recommended daily caloric intake for children ages 4-8 is 1200 for girls and 1400 for boys. With that in mind here are some of the highest and lowest calorie options at 8 of the more popular fast food chains.
335 Calories: Chicken McNuggets, Apple Juice, Apple Slices, and Low Fat Strawberry Yogurt.
580 Calories: Cheeseburger, Chocolate Milk, Kids’ Fries, and Low Fat Strawberry Yogurt.
298 Calories: Four Piece Chicken Nuggets, Apple Slices, and Apple Juice.
620 Calories: Cheeseburger, Satisfries, and Chocolate Milk.
280 Calories: Grilled Chicken Strips, Apple Bites with Caramel, and Apple Juice.
660 Calories: Grilled Cheese, Kid’s Fries, and 1% Milk.
350 Calories: Junior Roast Beef Sandwich, Apple Sauce, and Fruit Punch.
650 Calories: Chicken Tenders, Kid’s Curly Fries, and Chocolate Milk.
205 Calories: Grilled Drumstick, Green Beans, Apple Sauce, and Tropical Fruit Juice.
650 Calories: Chicken Little, Mac ‘n Cheese, Apple Sauce, and 1% Milk.
560 Calories: Chicken Stars, Natural-Cut Fries, and 2% Milk.
760 Calories: Cheeseburger, Natural-Cut Fries, Barq’s Root Beer.
300 Calories: Chicken Nuggets, Apple Slices, and Low-Fat Milk.
650 Calories: Cheeseburger, Natural Cut Fries, and Chocolate Milk.
550 Calories: Turkey Wrap, Banana, and Strawberry and Banana Smoothie.
1,080 Calories: Cheeseburger, Kid’s Fries, Dilly’s Bar, and Arctic Rush Drink.
Unsurprisingly the biggest pitfall are the french fries. Even the kids sized fries usually comes in around 200-250 calories and can be replaced on a lot of kids’ menus by apple slices that are less than 50 calories in most cases. Again, fast food isn’t necessarily healthy, but at least with this guide you can cut your children’s caloric intake in half at most of the places on this list.
If you aren’t in the mood for fast food, check out the Eat Kid Friendly App to find the best restaurant for you and your family!