McDonalds Nutrition? Is that an oxymoron? Maybe not.
The fast food giant has made great strides in the past few years to get better food choices onto their menu. And for a long time McDonalds has made nutrition charts available in stores and on their website. They’re not hiding anything and even though their commercials entice us with the stuff we love that may not love us back, the fact remains that there are healthier alternatives on the menu.
McDonalds knows that getting kids at an early age to crave their goods translates into potential lifelong customers. Nothing wrong with that – it’s a sound business move. But getting kids to like the healthier menu items is a trickier proposition that should be aimed at parents.
Childhood obesity is a fact in America and many times places like McDonalds are at the top of the list of causes. It’s not only McDonalds, but their name has become the word of choice to represent all fast food chains.
But even if your kids don’t have an obesity problem, proper nutrition is vital for optimal brain functioning. Kids with learning disabilities or ones that struggle in school are more at risk and require good nutrition to stay alert and optimize brain processing.
Taking all fast food as a whole, McDonalds can be one of the better choices. They not only offer menu items like Apple Dippers, Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait, and a handful of salads, they provide one of the best, and most convenient exercise environments known to man – the McDonalds PlayPlace.
Let’s be real – many kids don’t get enough exercise any more because parents are afraid to let their kids go outside to play. Stranger Danger and other fears have replaced outside playtime exercise with inside TV and computer-time.
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that kids get at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity, including active play, most days of the week.
Sounds like good advice. But how do parents combine exercise time and decent nutrition into a combination that fits into a busy lifestyle? How about an hour spent at a McDonalds PlayPlace with some of their better menu choices? Parents can be close enough to their kids without worrying after dinnertime and while the kids are playing, catch up on emails or light websurfing on a smartphone.
Still not convinced about the nutritional values of the menu? Check out the McDonalds webpage, Delicious Choices, or go to NutritionData.com and search for a food name or category and get the facts. They have the skinny on more data than you know what to do with and offer comparisons among restaurants and menu items.