- Think beyond grilled cheese when dining out with your kids.
Trying to feed your kids healthy options when dining out can be stressful. Most restaurants offer the usual chicken fingers, mac and cheese, hamburger with fries or grilled cheese, but the calories, fat and sodium on these items is through the roof. Here are the healthiest options we found at popular restaurants.
The grilled chicken is the way to go at Chili’s. You can order the Grilled Chicken Platter, which has 160 calories, 3.5 grams of fat and 170 milligrams of sodium or the Grilled Chicken Sandwich with 230 calories, 5 grams of fat and 230 milligrams of sodium. Add a side of celery sticks with ranch dressing for an additional 80 calories, steamed broccoli for 30 calories or mandarin oranges or pineapple for 35 calories.
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- Michelle Obama, accompanied by Darden chef Julie Elkinton, talks customers at Olive Garden in Hyattsville, Md. Photo by: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
Darden Restaurants, the company that owns Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and Bahama Breeze, recently pledged its commitment to revamp menus in an attempt to reduce calories, provide greater variety for kids and offer lower sodium options.
First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America joined the company at an Olive Garden in Hyattsville, Maryland for the announcement.
“The First Lady continues to lead the growing national efforts to make healthy food options more available and accessible, and we’re pleased to collaborate with her and the Partnership for a Healthier American on this commitment,” said Drew Madsen, president and chief operating officer of Darden Restaurants.
Building upon the First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, the company hopes to reduce calories in its menu items by 10 percent over five years, and 20 percent over 10 years. New calorie-conscious items will replace heavier fare, while some dishes are being resized and retested with sodium levels in mind.
The biggest change is coming to Darden’s kid’s menus. Dishes will automatically come with fruits or vegetables as a side dish, along with an 8 oz. serving of 1-percent milk .
What do you think? Will the new menu items be a hit?