5 worst 'healthy' fast-food kids meals revealed

5 worst 'healthy' fast-food kids meals revealed

By Jennifer Reeves, NBC News | Posted - Jun. 12, 2012 at 10:14 a.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — Some of our favorite foods have made the list of the five worst "healthy" fast food kids' meals.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine released the list as the summer season begins.

Javier Suarez is a father of two and said he sometimes takes his kids to eat fast food.

"The thing is that I know they are bad, but when you are in a hurry at the end of the day, you have to feed him," he said.

The committee said that foods listed as healthy really are not.

"It isn't a healthy meal if the cheeseburger's still on the plate," says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. "Fast food companies are trying to pull the wool over parents' eyes."

Chick-Fil-A's grilled nuggets kids' meal
Chick-Fil-A's grilled nuggets kids' meal

The Five Worst "Healthy" Fast-Food Kids Meals according to PCRM:

1. Chick-Fil-A's grilled nuggets kids' meal: contains the same amount of cholesterol as a Big Mac, according to the list.

"It's processed, they add salt to cook and preserve the food and it's also the sides and the drink," said Kasie Fondren-Jorquera, a registered clinical dietitian.

Fondren-Jorquera is a mother of three and knows the pressures of having to feed everyone on the go.

"I'm not saying that fast food can't be used as part of a normal, healthy diet, but it should be used every blue moon and in case of an emergency," she said.

McDonald's cheeseburger Happy Meal
McDonald's cheeseburger Happy Meal

2. McDonald's cheeseburger Happy Meal: Contains more sodium than 13 orders of McDonald's kids fries, even though they have added fruit, according to the committee. Nutritionists say adding apples to a meal that's already unhealthy is not going to solve the problem.

"In addition to gaining weight, it can increase their blood pressure, they start gaining fluid and overall," Fondren-Jorquera said, "it's not setting them up for a healthy lifestyle later in life."

3. Sonic Kids' Jr. Burger Meal: Contains more sugar than two Twinkies.

Burger King's hamburger Kids Meal
Burger King's hamburger Kids Meal

4. Burger King's hamburger Kids Meal: Doctors say it contains almost as much cholesterol as six slices of pork bacon. 5. Denny's Build Your Own Jr. Grand Slam: Contains almost 100 more milligrams of sodium than the government recommends children consume at breakfast.

Dietitians advise teaching kids to reach for healthier options.

"We want to teach our children healthy eating habits now so when they are older and we let them go, they are eating healthy then also," Fondren-Jorquera said.

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Jennifer Reeves
    NBC News

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