Burger King is jumping on the health-food wagon by dropping soft drinks from its children’s meal menu.
The fast-food chain follows earlier efforts by McDonald’s and Wendy’s. Removing sugary soft drinks with empty calories helps reduce childhood obesity.
My partner Bette and I got an up-close view of what that change looks like when we took three neighborhood girls ages 8 and 9 to the newly remodeled McDonald’s in the Northeast area for Happy Meals. One girl ordered a hamburger, a second wanted a cheeseburger and the third got Chicken Nuggets.
Each came with a small apple juice. We went to Berkley Riverfront Park and sat at a picnic table to eat. The apple juice was as big of a hit as any unnaturally sweetened soft drink.
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The girls used decals to decorate the red Barbie cars that came with the Happy Meals. They then raced the plastic vehicles along the banks of the Missouri River. Throwing the cars along the riverfront paths isn’t exactly racing in the convention sense.
But the girls had fun without the sugar buzz, and so did we.