Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fast food for kids- what are our kids eating? McDonalds nutrition

I admit to taking my kids to McDonalds about once a week. I used to be very anti-McDonalds and never wanted my kids to eat there.. in fact my twins didn't even know what McDonalds was until they were 3 and went on a field trip to the play place near their preschool. I actually considered not letting them go then I decided I was being crazy.

Whem my kids go to McDonalds they get one choice- McNuggets, apples and milk. Nothing else. I do let them have chocolate milk because I got tired of them refusing to drink their white milk and I figured it was better than nothing. I admit it's not health food but I'm comfortable with it.

I see lots of kids in McDonalds eating huge amounts of food right along with their parents. The kids are getting trained at a young age that we need to eat huge burgers and huge amount of fries. McDonalds even has a kids meal for older kids which has things like double cheeseburgers.. why do we need to teach our kids to eat a double cheeseburger? Why can't they just eat a single cheeseburger?

They post their nutrition info in a prominent place but how many parents actually read it..

Consider this:
A 2 year old child needs 1000 to 1400 calories per day
A 6 year old child needs 1400 to 1800 calories per day
A 10 year old child needs 1800 to 2000 calories per day

McDonalds Happy Meal Choices
4 piece nuggets 190 calories 12 grams of fat
hamburger 250 calories 9 grams of fat
cheeseburger 300 calories 12 grams of fat
apple dippers 35 calories 0 grams of fat
carmel dipping sauce 70 calories 0 grams of fat
small fries 230 calories 11 grams of fat
apple juice 100 calories 0 grams of fat
small coke 110 calories 0 grams of fat
1% milk 100 calories 2.5 grams of fat
chocolate milk 170 calories 3 grams of fat

So let's do the math:
Cheeseburger+fries+coke meal= 670 calories 23 grams of fat
Mcnuggets+apples+1% milk meal= 325 calories 14.5 grams of fat

Let's go back to that 1200 calories your kid needs to eat in a day.

670 calories is HALF of their daily calorie intake! Do you really want them to eat half of their day's calories in a cheeseburger and french fries?

Then if your kid gets older and needs 1800 calories per day and tells you a cheeseburger and french fries doesn't fill them up anymore so you get them a double cheeseburger and a medium fries and a medium coke. Then what do you have?
Medium Coke= 210 calories
Medium fries= 380 calories 19 grams of fat
Double Cheeseburger= 440 calories 23 grams of fat
Total = 1030 calories.. again more than half of their daily intake.

Does anyone else see a problem with this?

I'm not saying don't eat fast food. I'm saying teach your kids to make good choices when they eat fast food.

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