Research & Practice

Restaurant Kids’ Meals: Feasibility Study & Policy Options

Children eat almost a fifth of their meals away from home, and the nutritional quality of those meals is important; diet quality can impact cognitive development, weight maintenance, and risk of chronic disease later in life. Less than 10% of kids’ meals meet criteria of various nutrition standards. On a typical day, one third of kids eat or drink at a quick-service restaurant, and 12% at a full service restaurant. Eating at restaurants is associated with increased sugar-sweetened beverage, total fat, saturated fat, and sugar consumption, as well as decreased milk consumption.

The purpose of this project was to provide foundational information for a kids’ meal policy, including considerations for business and legality, input from experts, and policy recommendations, with the ultimate goal of making the healthy choice the easy choice for parents and children at restaurants in King County.

Materials Available

Project Type(s): MPH Practicum, PH Concentration Poster

Author(s): Nora Downs

Program(s): Master of Public Health, RDN Training

Year: 2015