New York: We Want Healthier Kids’ Menus!
At MomsRising we believe we all have a role in supporting healthy kids. We work with parents across the country and often counsel families on the importance of making healthy choices. Many parents tell us about their struggles of trying to provide healthy food and drinks for their kids and the battles that ensue because kids want sugary drinks. To all the parents who want healthy options for your families, we have a message for you: you are not alone!
According to a recent poll commissioned by the American Heart Association in New York City, voters expressed nearly universal support for making the options on children’s menus healthier (94% support/4% oppose). People see growing up at an unhealthy weight, poor nutrition, and lack of healthy food options as problems for children and teens.
Sugary drinks like soda are the largest source of added sugar in children’s diets. Just one can of regular soda contains more than the recommended daily amount of added sugar. The excessive consumption of these added sugars increases the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and other conditions that put our children and families at risk.
Finding healthy options isn’t always easy. especially in today’s environment. I can attest to that. With busy schedules, parents depend on the convenience of dining outside the home. That’s why I, and countless MomsRising members, support making the food and beverage options on children’s menus healthier, and making healthy drinks like water and milk the default drink option.
We encourage restaurants and policymakers to work with parents to create an environment where the healthy choice is the easy choice. Communities must work together to support our children’s health.
We’re asking restaurants to join with us, both for our children’s health and for their own bottom line. Because healthy options on restaurant menus are good for kids’ health and good for a restaurant’s bottom line. According to the AHA poll, if a restaurant offers healthy options on the menu, New Yorkers would be 81% more likely to take a child there.
Communities, families, and businesses should work together to give families and children the opportunity to be healthy. Restaurants can support our communities by making healthy drinks like milk and water the default option on children’s menus.