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Chick-fil-A debuts more healthful kids' meal

January 10, 2012|By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
  • Chick-fil-A now offers grilled chicken on its kids' menu, which cuts down on fat and calories.
Chick-fil-A now offers grilled chicken on its kids' menu, which cuts… (Courtesy of Chick-fil-A )

Going to Chick-fil-A might be easier for health-conscious parents. The fast food chain just introduced its new kids' meal, which includes -- wait for it -- grilled chicken nuggets.

That's right, they're not fried. According to a company news release, a four-piece serving of the nuggets comes in at 80 calories and 1 gram of fat, and the six-piece has 110 calories and 1.5 grams of fat.

They're serving that chicken with a fruit cup, but diners have the option of substituting applesauce, which has 60 calories and no fat. Add some 1% milk to that, and you have a meal (with six nuggets and applesauce) of 260 calories, 4 grams of fat (2 grams of saturated fat), 25 grams of sugar, 32 grams of protein and 26 grams of carbohydrates.

Children's beverage options will be limited to 1% milk, 100% apple juice, lemonade and water.

An eight-piece serving of the regular fried nuggets has 260 calories and 12 grams of fat (2.5 grams of saturated fat).

"Our new kids' meal reflects our commitment to helping parents strike a balance between nutrition, convenience and price," said Woody Faulk, the company's vice president of brand strategy and design, in a news release. We want parents to know that they do have a choice at Chick-fil-A."

The menu change is part of a growing trend among restaurant chains to cut back on fat, calories and sodium overall, on some dishes, and/or on children's items. In September, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at a news conference endorsing healthful changes at Darden restaurants, which owns Olive Garden and Red Lobster. Darden pledged to scale back on calories and salt in all of its restaurants, feature more healthful choices for kids and overhaul other dishes.

Obama's Let's Move! campaign to fight childhood obesity has inspired other fast food chains, such as McDonald's, Burger King and IHOP, to alter their menus as well.

What do you think about this new kids' menu feature? Are you happy about it? Will you be buying it? And will your kids eat it?

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