Best and Worst Kids' Menus
Between tricky restaurant choices, finicky eaters, and the desire to provide healthy, nourishing food, taking the kids out to eat can drive any parent crazy! We’ll give you the inside scoop on better choices and some easy steps on how to lighten up those kid-favorites. By: Toby Amidor, MS, RD and Karen Ansel, MS, RD
Panera BreadThumbs Up: Kids Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
Made from white whole-grain bread, this sandwich from Panera Bread contains 3 grams of filling fiber and is paired with 60-calorie organic yogurt (a better choice than chips). Peanut butter (about 2 tablespoons worth) is an excellent source of heart-friendly vegetable protein as well as niacin, vitamin E, and magnesium. With almost half the sodium as the other kids’ sandwich options, it’s clearly the better choice.
Thumbs Down: Signature Mac & Cheese
This 490-calorie meal doesn’t seem too terrible, but remember kids need fewer calories than adults. In this dish, 55 percent of the calories come from fat, 13 grams of which is saturated fat. To balance out the meal, split a PB&J or Smoked Turkey Sandwich between two children and add a few tablespoons of the Mac & Cheese on the side.