Ask Dairy Queen to improve its children’s meals

Earlier this year, CSPI published a report evaluating the nutritional quality of children’s meals at the nation’s top chain restaurants. The report found that 97% of kids’ meals are of poor nutritional value — too many calories, saturated fat, and sodium, and not enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

We need your help in encouraging restaurants to do better. This month we’re focusing on Dairy Queen. Please tweet at Dairy Queen and ask them to improve the nutritional quality of their children’s menu (see models below).

At the time of our study, none of Dairy Queen’s kids’ meals met CSPI’s or the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) nutrition standards. Most Dairy Queen kids’ meals come with a sugary beverage and an ice cream, adding as much as 440 calories and 79 grams of sugars to the meal — on top of an unhealthy entrée and side dish.

Since the study, Dairy Queen joined the NRA’s Kids LiveWell program. While the Kids LiveWell nutrition standards are reasonable, restaurants only have to offer one meal and one additional item that meet the standards to participate in the program. Dairy Queen added a turkey wrap, banana, and strawberry banana smoothie to its kids’ menu. However, most of Dairy Queen’s kids’ menu remains of poor nutritional value.

We’re pleased to see Dairy Queen join Kids LiveWell, but it should do much more to improve the nutritional quality of its children’s meals. Taking soda and other sugary drinks off the kids’ menu would a good start. It also could add more fruit and vegetable options and not offer ice cream as a default option.

Please tweet @DairyQueen and ask them to improve their children’s menu. Below are model tweets, as well as a Facebook post.

Model Tweets:
Of course @DairyQueen is a treat, but its kids’ menu is one of the worst among chain restaurants. @DairyQueen, please do better by kids

.@DairyQueen: Make your kids’ meals healthier. Offer low-fat milk and fruit as defaults instead of sugar drinks, ice cream and fries!

.@DairyQueen: Thx 4 joining @KidsLiveWell. But you can do better. Drop sugary drinks & add more fruits, vegs & whole grains to kids’ menu

Model Facebook Post:
We’re pleased Dairy Queen joined Kids LiveWell, but it still has a lot of work to do to improve the nutritional quality of its children’s meals. Share if you agree that DQ should take soda and other sugary drinks off the kids’ menu, add more fruits and vegetables, and not offer ice cream automatically to all kids’ meals as a default option.