Make Kids’ Meals Healthier in Washington, DC

Last month we introduced you to Lara, an 11 year-old Washington, DC girl who’s become an incredible advocate for healthy eating and drinking following her own health journey.

Among the many ways to help kids like Lara make healthier choices is to support the DC Council’s legislation that would make healthier beverages like water, milk, and 100% juice the automatic choice in restaurant kids’ meals.

Kids in the District and across the country consume far too much added sugar. A recent American Academy of Pediatrics and American Heart Association report showed that many kids are consuming enough added sugar each year to fill a bathtub. The American Heart Association recommends kids consume no more than one 8-ounce sugary beverage each week, but kids often drink 10 times that much!

Sugary beverages are the leading source of added sugar in the American diet, but healthy kids’ meals policies would help kids and parents make healthier choices. This can ultimately reduce the risk for unhealthy weight, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions. This policy would make the automatic beverage option in restaurant kids meals a healthier choice, but it would not prevent a parent from ordering their child a sugary drink if they choose.

“Eating habits start early and preventing heart disease requires a lifetime of healthy eating. Let’s help children in DC adopt healthy habits early by having kids’ meals at restaurants offer milk or water instead of a sugar sweetened drink,” said American Heart Association Ambassador and Registered Dietitian, Nancy Chapman.

Many places have already implemented these common-sense policies, including California, New York City, Baltimore, Delaware, and Hawaii. The District should be next. Click here to tell your Councilmembers you support healthy kids’ meals and want to help kids and parents make healthier choices when eating at restaurants in Washington, DC!