Re-Vamped Kids Meals & A Trip To The Grand Rapids Downtown Market

As a kid I would BEG my parents to let me get a kids meal from McDonald’s. It wasn’t very often that I ate out of that trademark red cardboard box with the golden “M” handles. Come to think of it, there is only one specific time that I remember getting one. My mother and I were out of town somewhere when I got my wish fulfilled. (I remember it came with a really strange looking doll that actually kind of scared me…) Now that I am older I understand why I was denyed my chicken nuggets so many times. Sometimes, mother’s really do know best. (Don’t let that go to your head now, Kris!)

Kids and fast food

In 2012 menus of the 50 largest fast food chains were reviewed and two-thirds of the meals aimed at children failed to meet nutritional standards for various reasons such as calories, salt, fat and sugar. Lately, big name fast food chains have been actively making efforts to improve the nutrition of the food they serve. Providing the option of apple slices as a side, giving smaller portions and offering non-fat chocolate and 1% white milk are among their latest efforts. The typical entree choices of chicken nuggets, a hamburger, or a cheeseburger are still the same. Just with changing the sides alone there has been a reduction of 98 calories per meal.

There has been an increase of the milk being chosen as the drink of the meal (20% of meals are order with chocolate milk and 6.5% with chocolate) It is now know how much of the items ordered were actually consumed or if the children enjoyed them.

While fast foods isn’t exactly the healthiest choice it is really nice to see the industry making steps in the right direction.

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market

Yesterday I took a trip to the Grand Rapids Downtown Market. I had been to the outdoor part of it during the summer, but this was my first time at the indoor portion. I loved it! They offer everything from grass fed meats, dried fruit and veggie chips, live lobster, infused oils, nearly every spice you could dream of, freshly made ice cream to quite possibly the largest cupcakes, brownies and cookies I have ever seen. On Sundays from 10-2 they have a Bloody Mary Bar (this may or may not have been the reason I chose to go on a Sunday…) where you can create your own concoction based on your personal taste. I split one with my brother-in-law, Tyler. We opted for a pickle-y mixer (Made from somewhere in Michigan, but I can’t quite recall where) with plain ol’ vodka and topped it with a celery stick (of course), a dill pickle, and a few olives. It was marvelous! I do love a good bloody mary. I could spend hours in that market and have a feeling I will be frequenting it quite often. It just so happens that it is right on the way home from work… This could be lethal for my wallet!!

Here are a few snap-shots of the trip. (I downloaded a new editing software, yahoo! Hopefully I will get better at photography. I am LOVING my new camera though, it is great!)

Bloody Mary Bar
Bloody Mary Bar
Pickle-y Bloody Mary
Pickle-y Bloody Mary
Pick your garnish!
Pick your garnish!
Tyler and I
Tyler and I
Nuts, dried fruit and veggie chips
Nuts, dried fruit and veggie chips
Cupcakes, brownies and cookies.. Oh my!
Cupcakes, brownies and cookies.. Oh my!

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Infused olive oils and vinegars
Infused olive oils and vinegars
Cherry Angel Food Cupcake
Cherry Angel Food Cupcake
Do you have a market like this where you live? I would love to hear about it!!!
Sources
http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/sns-rt-us-food-meal-20131227,0,450601.story

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