A new survey finds that despite fast food restaurant’s attempts to create healthy menus to draw families back in, kids are continuing to be served unhealthy meal options. The survey was conducted by the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity in an effort to see if fast food chains claiming to be supporting health initiatives were actually making proper adjustments.

Jennifer Harris, director of marketing initiatives at Rudd, explains that this survey was driven by restaurants claiming they’ve replaced unhealthy options like greasy french fries and sugar-laden soft drinks with healthier alternatives for children. In fact, restaurants like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Subway have all made similar claims. Harris comments that it’s, “a marketing tactic on the part of these restaurants to make parents think their products are healthy. If they can make parents think it’s actually a healthy choice to take their child there, then it’s good for their business. That’s what we found, even though what kids are getting really hasn’t changed.”

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In order to test their apparent policy changes, the Rudd Survey was conducted online with over 800 parental participants. The survey found that over 74% of the kids who dined at fast food restaurants were still receiving unhealthy options. A further look found that only 6 out of 10 parents purchasing a kid’s meal opted for a healthy drink instead of soda, and the majority of parental customers purchased fries for their child instead of a healthier side option like apple slices.

The research led to the conclusion that these ‘healthy menu’ options are not helping children and family members eat healthy, but are rather drawing them in to eating frequently at fast food restaurants.

Looking for wholesome, healthy options for your child?

Ditch the fast food restaurant, and try some of these quick and healthy recipes from our Food Monster App instead!

Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips

Image Source: Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips

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These baked cinnamon apple chips by Nicole Dunai are the kind of chips you want your kids snacking on. They are refined sugar free and oil free, yet are flavorful and delicious at the same time. Plus, they only require three ingredients!

Quinoa Sweet Potato Burgers

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These burgers by Ashley Cuoco are completely guilt-free, wholesome, and packed with important nutrients that your growing child needs!

Raw Peanut Butter Stuffed Cookie Dough Bites

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These raw cookie dough bites stuffed with peanut butter by Taylor Kiser are absolutely divine and 100% healthy. Your kids will be asking you to make these constantly.

For more healthy recipes, we recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out! 

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Lead Image Source: Evelyn Giggles/Flickr