Healthiest kids’ meals from fast-food restaurants revealed — see where your child’s favorite ranks – New York Post

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Yes, you read that right.

The idea of healthy fast food might sound paradoxical; however, certain chains, including Chick-Fil-A and Subway, now claim to have more such alternatives for children.

Recently, nutrition scientist Lauryna Nelkine decided to see if they put their money where young customers’ mouths are by rounding up the top 10 lowest-calorie kids’ meals from the most popular fast food chains in the U.S., Healthnews reported.

The Wendy’s kids’ meal boasted the least number of calories. Wendy’s

To accomplish the monumental feat, she and her team spent hours trawling fast-food websites.

They then chose the meal with smallest calorie count from each outlet and ranked them in order, effectively determining which chains allow customers to have their burger and eat it, too (so to speak).

Clocking in at No. 1 with the fewest calories was Wendy’s kids’ meal, which includes chicken nuggets along with apple bites and milk.

The fun-sized spread amounted to 246 calories — roughly the same as a snack of carrot sticks and humus.

It also ranked lower in terms of saturated fats, perhaps proving that the red-headed burger monger offers square meals to go with their square meat patties.

Unfortunately, Wendy’s kids’ meal was less nutritious based on other barometers — notably packing the highest sodium levels for any offering on the list.

Here’s hoping that the endorsement doesn’t cause meal costs to skyrocket in line with the chain’s reported “surge” pricing proposal.

Trailing close behind in the pound-shedding pantheon was Chick-Fil-A.

Chick-Fil-A’s kids’ meal boasted the second-fewest calories. Getty Images

This poultry purveyor’s kids’ meal of five-count Grilled Nuggets, a small fruit cup and milk totaled 250 calories — just four shy of Wendy’s.

The meal also packed the most protein of the bunch with a staggering 17 grams.

All things considered, it might be time to add another item to Chick-Fil-A’s most “underrated items” roundup.

Subway has been lauded for its abundance of veggies and minimal sauce. Getty Images

“Subway — Eat Fresh” is apparently not just some slogan.

The sandwich chain nabbed the third spot with its 295-calorie Veggie Delite, paired with milk and GoGo squeeZ Apple fruit pouch, which also boasted the lowest sodium levels as well as minimal saturated fats.

The hero hawker’s health perks can be attributed to the fact that it uses “plenty of veggies and minimal sauce,” Healthnews claimed.

“It’s a good option for parents who want to include plant-based meals in their kids’ diets,” the site wrote.

Rounding out the top five were Popeyes’ 340-calorie meal comprised of four-piece nuggets with applesauce, and Quizno’s Triple Cheese kids’ meal with grilled cheese on wheat bread, applesauce and milk, at 345 calories.

Meanwhile, coming in at No. 10 was Burger King’s four-piece chicken nuggets, value onion rings, Mott’s applesauce and apple juice.

The bundle boasted a “whopping” 475 calories (not including the BBQ dip sauce), which Healthnews attributed to the sugary apple sauce and juice as well as high levels of saturated fat found in the onion rings.

Healthnews felt that, in general, fast food should be a special treat and not a staple of a kid’s diet. Christopher Sadowski

Healthnet ultimately believes that fast food shouldn’t be the go-to for people looking to eat healthy — regardless of calorie count.

“It’s equally important to recognize that fast food should be an occasional indulgence only rather than a staple for nutrition,” they wrote.

“Enjoyed sparingly, these meals won’t significantly impact a child’s health, as long as their overall diet is balanced and rich in essential nutrients.”

In general, studies show that fast food is linked with higher body mass index, less successful weight-loss maintenance and weight gain.

It can also reduce diet quality and provide unhealthy choices among children and adolescents, thereby increasing the likelihood of them becoming obese.

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