The Worst Things to Feed Your Toddler

kids meals unhealthyThe lure of the drive-through window just got a little less tempting as David Zinczenko, of Eat This, Not That, unveiled the worst picks for kid meals in America. While most of us understand that you're not giving your kid health food when you head to McDonald's, some of these gut-busters are extraordinary in the amount of fat per serving. And totally dangerous, health-wise.

If you look at the calories per serving and compare them to the calories kids need to consume, some of these dishes are actually worse than the adult-sized portions. In fact, you might be shocked by the biggest offender on the list.


The Cheesecake Factory's kids' pasta with Alfredo sauce comes in at 1,810 calories and 89 grams of fat. That's an entire week's worth of saturated fat consumption for a child! A whole week! And the calorie count is more than any average 2- to 9-year-old should consume in a day. That's disgusting and should not even be considered as an every now and again treat.

While the philosophy in our home is that fast food is an occasional indulgence (In 'N' Out is just too tempting), this list of the worst offenders has convinced me to never, ever order the following for my kids:

  • McDonald's Mighty Meal with McDouble, fries, and chocolate milk = 790 calories and 33 grams fat
  • KFC's kids' meal with popcorn chicken, potato wedges, and Pepsi = 730 calories and 32 grams fat
  • On the Border's kids' cheese quesadilla with Mexican rice = 1,220 calories and 75 grams fat

These sick dishes, along with that pasta Alfredo, are on my restricted list for both myself and the kids.

Even though The Cheesecake Factory may not be considered fast food in that you don't drive through to order, it's of the same vein as Burger King. Restaurants like Applebee's, Chili's, The Cheesecake Factory, and others sell processed and not healthy foods. Which means when you process the vitamins and good stuff out, you have to add chemicals in to give this dead food flavor. Sure baby back ribs and cheesy three-layer dip taste delicious. It's because of all that salt and fat. Just because you ordered it from a waitress and not a metal box doesn't mean that it's any better for you.

Consider these numbers when you dine out with your kids, and don't forget that even though you're sitting down in a cushy booth, you're still eating "fast" food. Stay at home or study the nutritional information thoroughly before you head out to eat. At least you'll know how much exercise, or how many days you'll have to starve yourselves, to make up for the bad stuff.

Do you eat out a lot? Do these numbers surprise you?


Image via gadgetdude/Flickr

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