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Taco Bell recently announced it was dropping kids' meals at all restaurants nationwide by early 2014. This is great news for moms and dads who are tired of fast- food restaurants marketing junk food to their kids with the aid of toy giveaways.

But getting rid of unhealthy meals is only the first step. What moms and dads really want is healthy meals for their kids at affordable prices.

Today's children consume up to 30% of their calories at restaurants. Taco Bell's menu change is likely to result in forcing parents to buy larger-portion, higher-calorie meals off the adult menu for their children.

CLICK HERE: Ask Wendy’s and Burger King to remove sugary drinks from Kid’s Meals.

Certainly, getting rid of toys as incentives for purchasing unhealthy kids' meals is a positive step. The food and beverage industry spends over $2billion/year on marketing to kids, a significant portion of which goes into toys.[1] Toys and cartoon characters are proven to have a strong influence on what kids want and what they eat [2]. My son is only three, and he already recognizes characters (some of which he's never even watched on TV!) in the grocery store. So removing toys from the equation undoubtedly takes some pressure off parents.

But the problem is not just the toys--it's that kids' meals at most restaurants are incredibly unhealthy. Ninety percent of kids’ meals offered in restaurants don't meet the fast food industry's own guidelines for healthy foods. [2]

Taco Bell has been quick to claim the change is a "bold move for our industry", and that they'll be "able to better focus on creating new and inventive items that our customers love.”[3] A bold move would be offering affordable healthy meals for kids. Now that would really ring our bell.

 

[1]http://www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/food-marketing-to-children-fact-sheet.pdf

[2]http://www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/food-marketing-to-children-fact-sheet.pdf

[3]http://www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/food-marketing-to-children-fact-sheet.pdf

[4]http://www.tacobell.com/Company/newsreleases/Kids_Meals_Discontinued

 


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