The #1 Healthiest Fast-Food Kids Meal to Order, According to a Nutritionist

a little girl sitting at a table with a birthday cake: eating kids mealMost American Children Are Deficient In These Four Major Nutrients, Says New StudyOrdering off the Kids menu seems like a good way to cut back on calories, and it is, since the portions are going to be smaller. So you’ll reap those benefits if you’re an adult looking for a lighter meal from your favorite fast-food restaurant. However, when it comes to your child’s health, the options may not be as healthy. Since kids eat smaller portion sizes anyway, a healthful fast-food meal is all about the proper balance of macro- and micro-nutrients (think calcium, magnesium, fiber, and protein).

Sodium is a major issue on the Kids menu, as most fast foods geared toward the youngest customers—like pasta, grilled cheese, fries, and chicken nuggets—are super salty.

“Chronic inflammation from a high sugar or high salt diet in childhood contributes to chronic diseases, like diabetes and heart disease over time,” says nutritionist Tammy Lakatos Shames. “And not only does sugar cause inflammation, but also it provides calories without nutrients, and those calories can add up quickly and contribute to weight gain.”

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