Busy families throughout the state are getting back to their regular schedules. With school back in session and activities piling up, parents may depend on their favorite restaurant for a quick meal once in a while. But most restaurant "kids' meals" aren't very healthy.
hero_image_alt_text===Let's Offer Healthy Beverages First
thumbnail_alt_text===Milk and Fruit Juice
They are low on fruits, vegetables and whole grains and high in salt, fat and sugar.
One easy step that restaurants can take toward increasing healthy choices for parents and kids is to ensure that healthy drinks are promoted with kids' meals. Water, low-fat milk and 100% fruit juice are all healthy options and could be the default choice for beverages served with kids' meals. Parents would still have the option to request a sugary beverage for their child, but this policy makes choosing the healthiest option easier.
The American Heart Association recommends that kids over age 2 consume no more than 1 sugary beverage a week, but many are consuming 10 times the recommended amount! Too much sugar can lead to heart disease, diabetes and other chronic health problems.
This month, California became the first state to require restaurants to give parents a choice of healthier beverages for their child. The American Heart Association supports a bill that was introduced in the Assembly this spring to do the same in New Jersey. New Jersey families deserve healthy beverage options.