Ahh, who doesn’t love lists? So when I saw there was a release issued on the 6 worst restaurants for kids, I was intrigued.
The criteria to determine which fast food and casual chains were bad (or good) for kids used: calories, fat (trans- and saturated), and sodium, as well as the average number of calories per children’s entree.
I’m going to start with the healthiest because it was unexpected. Drum roll please…
Chick-fil-A. Surprised? So was I. Here’s the reason they were #1:
With a slew of low-calorie sandwiches, the country’s “healthiest” chicken nugget, a variety of solid sides like fresh fruit and soup that can be substituted into any meal, and nutritional brochures readily available for perusing at each location, Chick-fil-A earns the award for America’s Healthiest Chain Restaurant (for kids, for the adults who drive them there, plus anybody else wise enough to make it their fast food choice).
Coming in second was Subway.
And now the six worst are Applebee’s, IHOP, Olive Garden, Outback, Red Lobster, T.G.I. Friday’s.
Why? According to the release:
These titans of the restaurant industry are among the last national chains that don’t provide nutritional information on their dishes. Even after years of communication with their representatives, we still hear the same old excuses: it’s too pricey, it’s too time-consuming, it’s impossible to do accurately because their food is so fresh. Our response is simple: If every other chain restaurant in the country can do it, then why can’t they?
Recent New York legislation requiring these restaurants to run calorie counts on their menus gave diners a glimpse of what these establishments are hiding: At Friday’s, no fewer than nine sandwiches and ten appetizers topple the 1000-calorie barrier; at IHOP, the “healthiest” entree-size salad has a staggering 1050 calories; and at Outback, even a simple order of salmon will wipe out 75% of your day’s caloric allotment.
The rest of the listings can be found here.