Chick-fil-A is offering meals for children with fewer calories, joining other quick-service chains that are promoting menu options billed as being healthier. The Atlanta-based chain of 1,600 U.S. restaurants  started offering grilled-chicken nuggets on January 9, helping to reduce the calories and fat in kids’ meals by more than half, according to Woody Fault, vice president of brand strategy and design.  The chain will also be pushing milk, apple juice, lemonade and water for kids, rather than sugary drinks.

 Chick-fil-A  said a kids’ meal with grilled nuggets, a fruit cup and milk has 210 calories.  The chain is also reducing sodium in other menu items, such as in char-grilled chicken.  Chick-fil-A, whose annual sales grew 11 percent to about $3.5 billion in 2010, added a fruit cup to its menu in 2004 and started selling multigrain oatmeal last year.

McDonald’s announced that later this year it will begin putting apple slices and smaller portion of french fries in all Happy Meals in U.S. units, reducing calories by about 20 percent.  McDonald’s said a four-piece Chicken McNugget Happy Meal with apples and milk has 330 calories.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that of children ages 2 to 19, about 12.5 million, or 17 percent, are obese.

 

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