Wendy’s has a range of options on their current kids’ meal menu. (Wendy’s)
Amid pressure from public health awareness groups, Wendy’s is dropping soda from the drink choices on its kids’ meals.
According to Wendy’s officials, the move has already gone into effect and is reflected on menu boards inside restaurants, at drive-thrus and on the app used by its U.S. and Canadian customers. The beverage options now listed for kids’ meals are: 1 percent white or chocolate milk, bottled water and 100 percent juice.
Wendy’s spokesman told USA Today that unlike other chains, soda was never a default drink choice for kid’s meals.
“When ordering a kids’ meal, the customer is asked what beverage they prefer,” Bertini wrote via email. “The change is the kids’ meal beverage options which are shown on our menu boards.”
This doesn’t mean parents and kids can’t be buy a soda –it’s just no longer listed as an option. Also on still on the kids’ menu is a junior-sized Frosty—the fast food chain’s version of a milkshake.
On Thursday, the Center for Science in Public Interest –an advocacy group pushing for healthier food — released a statement announcing the move and applauding Wendy’s.
It also said the chain could further improve its menu by serving “whole grain rolls, offering more fruit and vegetable options, reducing sodium across the menu, and dropping Frosty’s from the children’s menu.”
In 2013, McDonald’s took soda off its Happy Meal menu—offering milk, chocolate milk or apple juice with their burgers and fries.
.Subway and Arby’s have also ditched offering soda on their kids’ menus but Burger King has yet to follow suit.
A company rep for Burger King wrote to USA Today claiming the chain is “currently in the process of analyzing the removal of fountain drinks from our kids’ menu boards.”
Wendy’s is the latest fast-food chain to remove soda from its kids’ menu, USA Today reports. The move comes after health groups put pressure on the company to offer healthier choices to kids and is meant to encourage parents and kids to opt out of the sugary stuff.
A rep from Wendy’s said the company never had soda as a default choice on children’s meals, and rather had workers ask which beverage customers preferred. So the only real change is what’s physically shown on the menu. So, if you ask for it specifically, you can still get a soda with a kids’ meal. But health groups are hoping that if you don’t see it on a menu, you might be less likely to choose it — and your kid might be less likely to whine until she gets it.
Now that soda has been removed, they’re also pushing for Wendy’s to drop Frostys from kids’ menus, too.
“While parents bear most of the responsibility for feeding their children well, restaurant chains also need to do their part,” Jessica Almy of the Center for Science in the Public Interest said in a statement. “Restaurants should not be setting parents up for a fight by bundling soda with meal options designed for kids.”
McDonald’s adopted a similar soda policy in 2013, and chains like Subway, Chipotle, Arby’s, and Panera also don’t list soda on their children’s menus. Now, health groups have their sights on the final holdout: Burger King.
TELL US: What do you think of the decision?
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Photo: Getty Images
(by the way…that burger has 600 calories, 35 g fat and 14 g saturated fat. Not good.)
Anyways, I was suddenly taken back to my non-vegan years when I loved Wendy’s Frosty shakes, cheddar broccoli baked potatoes and classic burgers. Note, this was a looong time ago back in Santa Cruz California. Anyways, so as I sighed at the 9 grams of saturated fat in a large chocolate frosty, I decided to check out the Wendy’s Kids Meal.
Let’s do an analysis shall we….
Wendy’s Kids Value Meal: Includes a Jr. Frosty, Crispy Chicken Sandwich, Lowfat ChocoMilk, and Strawberry fruit yogurt squeeze. Oh…and a toy, of course.
Shelf-Appeal: At first glance, the inclusion of milk and fruit flavored yogurt seems promising. But to a trained eye, it looks dismal at best.
Label Check: Here’s where the fun begins. Yes, the chicken sandwich has a hefty 16 grams of protein. 31 grams of protein in the whole meal. Nice. But total calories at 690, is a bit on the high side. Total fat is OK at 19 grams. But 7 grams are saturated. I’d rather see that at zero grams trans and zero grams saturated fat.
Now here is the kicker. The total fiber in this meal is….drum roll please…TWO GRAMS! That is pathetic! If a child had eaten those 690 calories in the form of apples, they would be getting …
40 grams of fiber! (4 grams/fiber per 70 calorie medium sized apple)
Thus, you could give me the best meal in the world, but pack only TO grams of fiber in it for a kid and I will give it an F nutritionally.
Kids. Need. Fiber. It lets them know that they are full, and it slows down the energy sugars from entering their bloodstream. This meal will go straight through an active child in a few hours, thus letting his hunger pangs start all over again very soon.
Taste Test: Probably divine. Yeah, those Frosty’s are sugar-high bliss for a child.
Price:Depends where you live, but yes I know its cheaper and easier than a home cooked meal, but isn’t your child’s health priceless?
Last Word: Don’t do it. Be strong. Keep driving.
If you MUST buy this meal, swap the frosty out and add a plain baked potato. Add some ketchup packets for a bit of kid appeal. And if you are really in a healthy mood…swap the milk for a water and add in some home brought apple slices as a side munchie. Trust me on the fiber tip. No fiber=not full=hungry again. Kids will burn the calories that they are fed, and fiber slows down that process.
8.25.10 11:15 AM EDT By Chris [email protected]
wendys mcdonalds kfc unhappy meals kid’s meals fast-food burger king
Next time you’re grabbing some breakfast with your children at McDonald’s, Wendy’s or Burger King, you might want to pay attention to the nutritional information for the kids meals you order. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine just released its list of the Five Worst Fast Food Meals to highlight those G-rated meals with R-rated calorie counts.
“Kids shouldn’t have to dodge cholesterol bombs packaged in colorful, toy-filled boxes,” says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “We’re losing the war against childhood obesity, but fast-food chains are still making obscene profits by targeting children with high-fat meals.”
Without further ado, here is the PCRM’s list:
McDonald’s Mighty Kids Meal: Double Cheeseburger, French fries, and chocolate milk (840 calories; 37 grams of fat)
Wendy’s Kids’ Meal: Chicken Sandwich, French fries, and chocolate Frosty (770 calories; 34 grams of fat)
KFC Kids Meal: Popcorn chicken, potato wedges, string cheese, and soda (800 calories; 1,800 milligrams of sodium)
A&W Kids Meal: Cheeseburger, French fries, and soda (780 calories; 9 grams of saturated fat)
Burger King’s BK Kids: Breakfast muffin sandwich meal (95 milligrams of cholesterol; exceeds recommended limit on sodium intake)
McDonald’s, Wendy’s Top List of Five Worst Fast-Food Kids Meals
San Francisco Hates Your Happy Meals
McDonald’s: We’re Not Strangers In The Playground Handing Out Candy To Kids
CSPI Wants To Make Your McDonald’s Happy Meal Sad
Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.
Wendy’s to Cease Kids’ Meal Licensing
Licensed toys will be phased out of the program beginning this fall.
Wendy’s has announced that it will no longer offer licensed toy products in its kids’ meals.
Instead, the quick service restaurant chain plans to introduce what it is calling a new kids’ meal play platform, designed to encourage “simple, creative play.”
This fall, Wendy’s kids’ meals will feature classic games including four-square, capture-the-flag, kick-the-can, tag and playground chalk. These playground games will be followed throughout the year with other interactive activities, in lieu of licensed toys.
“Dave Thomas founded Wendy’s as a restaurant for families to enjoy meals together. We stay true to our founding values by continuing to look for ways to promote quality family moments through our food and restaurant experience,” says Liz Geraghty, vice president of brand marketing, Wendy’s. “In an era where creativity is widely acknowledged to be a skill required for success, our new creative play platform gives parents simple activities to nurture and develop their kids’ creativity that families can enjoy together.”
Wendy’s Offers $1.99 Kids’ Meals Just in Time for Summer
DUBLIN, Ohio, June 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — This summer both kids and parents alike will be thrilled to find new menu items and interactive games added to the Wendy’s® Kids’ Meals™. And starting today, all Kids’ Meals are available for $1.99 after 4 pm*, so parents can provide their children with nutritious and fun food options at a value price.
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121011/CL90991LOGO-a )
“Mealtime is important for parents to spend with their children — even if it’s on the go. By providing nutritious options on our Kids’ Meal menu and interactive games for the whole family, we hope to create quality moments for parents to engage with their kids,” said Liz Geraghty, Wendy’s VP of Brand Marketing.
Wendy’s Joins Kids Live Well™
Wendy’s has recently joined Kids LiveWell, a program launched by the National Restaurant Association in collaboration with Healthy Dining Finder to help parents and children select nutritious foods when dining out.
Wendy’s has two complete meal options that meet the nutrition criteria of Kids LiveWell:
- Grilled Chicken Wrap with sliced apples
- Kids’ Meal Hamburger with sliced apples
Drink choices for both meals include Juicy Juice® 100 percent apple juice, TruMoo® 1% low fat white milk and Nestle® bottled water.
“Since 1969, we’ve offered a customized menu which allows adults and children to choose the foods that meet their individual needs and tastes,” Geraghty added.
New Kids’ Meal Menu Item and Interactive Games
Wendy’s has expanded its Kids’ Meal options by introducing a Grilled Chicken Wrap. The Grilled Chicken Wrap starts with one-half of a grilled chicken breast, topped with crisp lettuce, cheddar cheese and a honey mustard sauce all wrapped in a flour tortilla.
Wendy’s Kids’ Meals offer more than great food. As part of the company’s “Pause. Play. Together.”® initiative, every Kids’ Meal comes with interactive games that parents can play with their children or toys that can be used to teach them something new. This summer will feature Klutz® Triptivities® activity books that have games, puzzles, doodles, flipbooks and more.
“All of our toys are designed to encourage ‘family time’ with parents and children,” Geraghty added.
The new Wendy’s Kids’ Meal® menu is another component of Wendy’s ongoing brand transformation initiative, which also includes menu innovations; the re-imaging of restaurants with a bold, contemporary look; an updated Wendy’s logo; new crew uniforms; consumer-preferred menuboards and packaging; and a completely overhauled Wendys.com.
*At participating Wendy’s for a limited time.
About The Wendy’s Company
The Wendy’s Company is the world’s third largest quick-service hamburger company. The Wendy’s system includes more than 6,500 franchise and Company restaurants in the United States and 27 countries and U.S. territories worldwide. For more information, visit www.wendys.com or www.aboutwendys.com.
Juicy Juice and Nestle are registered trademarks of Societe des Produits Nestle SA.
TruMoo is a registered trademark of Dean Intellectual Property Services, Inc.
Klutz is a registered trademark of Klutz.
SOURCE The Wendy’s Company