Moms Now Have One More Reason to Feel Guilty About Fast-Food Kids' Meals

A mom's most helpful guilty pleasure just got a little guiltier thanks to a new warning from a group that says your go-to drive-thru Thursday night dinner isn't just a bunch of empty calories, it's also loaded with salt. In fact the World Action on Salt and Health committee just finished a study that found 80 percent of fast food kids meals have too much salt.


But wait! It's not as bad as it could be. See, kids' meals in the US weren't the worst sodium offenders. The research showed that a McDonald's chicken McNugget -- the mealtime Holy Grail for moms of picky eaters -- has 2.4 grams of salt in Turkey and only a little more than 1 gram here in America. That's not so bad, right?

According to recommendations kids should really only eat about a teaspoon of salt per day. And that's no sweat for the power mommies pureeing organic peas and baking homemade granola bars, but what about the rest of us who rely on the occasional chicken nugget to feed the baby?

More from The Stir: 5 Fast Food Desserts That Will Make You Forget the Fries

Let's face it, there's a whole lot that's super great about a fast food kids' meal. Like, for instance that they usually come with a toy. How often does dinner come with its own bribe for good behavior?

French fries are also the perfect food to buy your kid, because you can eat the ones at the bottom of the bag and not count the calories. Hey, you were just making sure they weren't too hot for the baby! You're just doing your job.

And let's be real, sometimes on a Thursday night after working all week, a mom just needs everyone to eat dinner on the way home in the car and then throw the bags away before you even get in the house. There are times you just gotta do what you gotta do to keep the kitchen clean. No shade from this direction.

On the positive side, most kids' meals come with some sort of healthy component. Like even Happy Meals have a choice of apple slices or Gogurt. So it's not a total nutrition apocalypse.

But let's also remember that being a kid means sampling all of life's little pleasures -- in moderation -- and salty, greasy fast food is just one of those.

Now the argument against stuffing your baby full of sodium is perfectly reasonable. You feed a kiddo tons of salt throughout childhood and they develop a taste for the stuff. And in excess, sodium really can cause all kinds of health problems like high blood pressure and and stroke. And that's bad.

Thanks to research like this we know that inside that greasy bag, in addition to all other sorts of nutritional horrors, is food loaded with salt. So moms who rely on an occasional cheeseburger combo to feed her brood can be mindful of that fact and balance their kids' overall diets accordingly. No kid should eat french fries dipped in a chocolate shake for every meal. But every once in a while, on the occasional busy, tired Thursday, there's just nothing quite like it.


Image via © Bernd Vogel/Corbis

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