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Most restaurant kids' meals still horrible for kids, study finds

March 28, 2013|By Jenn Harris

When you order a kids' meal at any restaurant, chances are you're not going to get a quinoa salad or grilled chicken with kale, hold the oil. Instead, you can bet on a basket of fried chicken fingers and fries or a bowl of macaroni and cheese.

If anyone is surprised by this, please speak now.

A recent study by theĀ Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) found that most restaurant kids' meals are still brimming with calories.

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Out of the 3,500 kids' meals surveyed for the study, 97% of them failed to meet nutritional standards, Reuters reported. Still, if you look back at how kids' meals fared in 2008, with 99% of the meals failing, you could say we're moving in the right direction.

"One out of every three American children is overweight or obese, but it's as if the chain restaurant industry didn't get the memo," said CSPI nutrition policy director Margo G. Wootan in a release on the CSPI website.

Maybe it's the parents who didn't get the memo. If you take your kid to Dairy Queen for breakfast, what are you really expecting? After all, this is a restaurant whose main attraction is an ice cream drink with bits of candy bar and cookies mixed in. Maybe the calcium from all the milk in the ice cream might offset the fat in the chicken strips?

PHOTOS: Restaurant dishes to avoid

The CSPI included a list of some of the most caloric kids' meals on its website:

--Dairy Queen chicken strips, fries, sauce, Arctic Rush frozen drink and Dilly Bar: 1,030 calories and 45 grams of fat.

--Chili's pepperoni pizza with fries and a soda: 1,010 calories and 45 grams of fat.

--Ruby Tuesday's macaroni and cheese with white cheddar mashed potatoes and fruit punch: 860 calories and 46 grams of fat.

--Applebee's grilled cheese on sourdough with fries and 2% chocolate milk: 1,210 calories and 62 grams of fat.

--Denny's Jr. cheeseburger and fries: 980 calories and 55 grams of fat.

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