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No toys in Happy Meals in San Francisco - new ban passes

Posted on Nov 12, 2010 by Maggie LaBarbera

San Francisco has banned toys associated with meals that are poor in nutrition.

The city's Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the ordinance, which they hope will force fast-food chains such as McDonald's to make their children's meals healthier or stop selling them with toys.

Kids are used to going to their favorite fast food restaurant and getting a toy with their meal.  It is part of the enticement to kids.  Who doesn't remember being a kid and opening their Happy Meal so they could get the toy.

Well, now in San Francisco, unless those kid's meals meet specific nutrition guidelines, it is against the law to include a toy.

Here are the specific requirements for a meal to include a toy:

  • Calories: Less than 600
  • Sodium: Less than 640 milligram.
  • Fat: Less than 35 percent of calories from fat; Less than 10 percent from saturated fat (with exception for nuts, seeds, eggs or low-fat cheese).
  • Fruits & Vegetables: At least half a cup of fruit or three-quarters of a cup of vegetables
Will this be a new trend? Will we see more foods under attack like sugary cereals?  As this debate on childhood obesity continues to grow, we will probably see more drastic measures taken to try and get kids to eat healthier.

I have read many pros and cons about this ordinance since it passed.  And yes it is true that ultimately, it is the parents who buy the meal.  But I have to say, give the parents some help!  With all the marketing, it makes it very hard for a busy parent to say no.  Isn't it easier if the toys were available with the healthy foods?  I am all for helping parents and making it a little easier to guide kids to healthier foods.

We'd love to hear your opinions on the ban and your ideas for choosing healthier foods for kids while dining out



1 Comment

Monday, Nov 29, 2010 @ 12:57 AM

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I don't think it will take one city changing its laws to make fast food companies change their kids meals. We could hope they would make their meals healthier, but I doubt it will make much of an impact.

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