Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007I remember growing up and eating fast food VERY rarely. It happened now and then if we were out shopping and it was usually Arby's...but it did happen now and then.
In those days, if you went to McDonald's or Burger King, you probably got a cheeseburger, fries and a small soft drink. If your parents didn't want you drinking soda, you got Hi-C, the world's lamest attempt at "well, it's better than pop."
Things have come far. Very far.
I try not to eat fast food very often and I try not to feed it to my kids very often, but the reality is that we end up eating it several times a month. Sometimes it's on a drive home to visit my folks because I'm snagging food on the run for the trip, sometimes it's running errands around town when I've forgotten to pack bentos for everyone.
Today I was out with the kids and needed to snag a quick bite for them. I was thinking about what my options were and I realized they weren't near as bad as they used to be. We ended up at Wendy's where each kid got chicken nuggets, low-fat strawberry yogurt and milk. Sure, the nuggets aren't super healthy, but they're not the end of the world terrible either. I had the option of a turkey sandwich or a ham sandwich for them as well, but I'm not a big fan of lunch meat and neither are the kids.
That's when it struck me. The irony that I probably could have done "better" at McDonald's. I have long loathed McDonald's. Their burgers are gross (Greg and I have wondered if their new "Angus" burgers come from herds of cattle they simply name "Angus" rather than from the breed or if they're simply the Angus that die of natural causes in the fields) and their fries are horrifically bad for you. In the last couple of years, they've made some progress though.
If we'd gone to McDonald's today, I would have ordered myself a grilled chicken chipotle snack wrap or two. The kids would have had a grilled chicken snack wrap (sans the sauce), an order of apple dippers and some milk. When you think about it...that's really not such an unhealthy meal. It's certainly not any worse than what I often end up feeding them at home.
Then I spotted an article at AdAge that discusses Burger King's plans to appeal to parents that want a few more healthy options. Burger King will soon be introducing the "frypod." It's basically a fry container served full of raw apple slices cut to look like french fries. There's no sugar added and they're served up fresh. Based on the picture to the right, they look pretty darn cool.
The article went on to say Burger King was also developing grilled chicken bites to offer in place of the fried, nugget style ones. They'll also be offering up small bottles of milk like McDonald's and Wendy's have been using for awhile now. The move was part of the decision to join the Better Business Bureau's Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. Burger King will also be limiting their advertiser to children under 12 and will use "healthier option" meals when they do market to kids.
The thing I like most about this shift is that it's not being forced by the government and it's not limiting people's options. There's absolutely nothing wrong with eating a burger or nuggets now and then, or letting your kids have some french fries. But in a world that moves as fast as our does, it's VERY nice to see companies recognizing that parents want to feed their children healthy foods and want the OPTION to make better choices as they cruise through the drive through.
Labels: Healthy Eating