San Francisco Officially Bans Happy Meals With Toys

This is an amazing idea! San Francisco lawmakers voted Tuesday to override Mayor Gavin Newsom’s veto on a measure to ban fast-food restaurants from including toys with children’s meals that do not meet nutritional guidelines.

The city’s Board of Supervisors gave the measure final approval with an 8-3 vote on Tuesday. It goes into effect in December 2011.

The ordinance prohibits toy giveaways in fast-food children’s meals that have more than 640 milligrams of sodium, 600 calories or 35 percent of their calories from fat.

The law also limits saturated fats and trans fats and requirex fruits or vegetables to be served with each meal that includes a toy.

Supervisor Eric Mar, the measure’s chief sponsor, says the ordinance will help create healthier choices to our kids.”

I agree. I think a toy in an unhealthy meal encourages and rewards poor eating. This is a great change and I hope it gets implemented everywhere soon and not just San Francisco!

In Flex We Trust » San Francisco Officially Bans Happy Meals With Toys.

The Danger of Fast Food

Some of the hidden and not-so-hidden dangers of fast food.

Fast food is fast, easy, and relatively cheap. But you probably know it’s not the best for your family. Well, you’re right. In fact, fast food is some of the worst stuff you can feed your spouse and kids – especially if it’s on a regular basis.
Where do the dangers exist? Funny you should ask.

In the Fries

Excessive salt and grease all come together for one of the tastiest complements to your eating out experience. As if those three weren’t enough to keep you away, French fries also have trans-fats and saturated fats, the kind of fats that don’t do the body good. So while they may be offered with every meal you can order at every fast-food restaurant in the world, fries should be avoided if you want to sidestep one of the largest pools of unhealthy food in a fast-food restaurant.

In the Burgers

In order to keep fast food as cheap as possible, some fast-food restaurants lower the quality of meat used in hamburgers. That means fatty hamburgers (and chicken sandwiches) that are more likely to taste great but result in food poisoning. More likely than food poisoning is simply winding up with extra calories that will go straight to your waist, belly, or whatever other area of your body you’d rather keep trim.

In the Healthy Sides

Before getting too excited about those healthy choices at your favorite hit-and-run restaurant, there’s something you should know. Though the word “healthy” may encourage you to jump in fork first, some of the healthy sides offered at fast food restaurants aren’t all they’re cut out to be. Chili made with fatty beef and filled with cheese and baked potatoes loaded with bacon, cheese, and other unhealthy condiments turn would could be a healthy alternative into an equally unhealthy choice.

In the Desserts

One of the most obvious places to find dangers in fast-food restaurants is on the dessert menu. From soft serve ice cream topped with caramel, chocolate, and strawberry syrup to post-meal frozen coffee, finding a healthy option on the dessert menu is as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. In fact, your best chance for finding a healthy option on fast-food dessert menus is

In the Drinks

Since you can get as many refills as you want without paying extra, it can be tempting to fill your cup to the rim time and again. Unfortunately, filling your bladder and urinary tract with soda or sweet tea isn’t a good idea. These drinks make you need to urinate more frequently and have enough calories in each 12-ounce serving to make it hard to eat anything without consuming an unhealthy amount of calories. As if that isn’t bad enough, sodas and sweet tea offer no nutritional value besides a quick energy boost, which usually comes at the cost of a crash.

The Hidden Good News

No matter how hard you try, you’re not going to be able to stay away from fast-food restaurants every day of your life. Going to these quick-and-easy eateries doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or have to resign yourself to chowing down on extra calories you may never shed. What it does mean is that you’ll have to work a little harder to avoid those extra calories.

But it can be done. A great first step is to avoid fried foods that are in such great quantity in fast-food establishments. You should also opt for the healthier side items, and help them stay healthy by not adding on fatty toppings. And if you must have dessert, look for a yogurt parfait or a low-fat frozen yogurt in a cup. When you’re done eating, smile and pat yourself on the back for doing what was once thought impossible. You’ve just eaten a relatively healthy meal at a fast-food restaurant.

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Snack Healthy

177/365 [Late dinner]
Image by The Hamster Factor via Flickr
Snack Healthy

Travel days create the perfect opportunity for snacking. A mocha and scone before your flight, a salty snack on the plane and then before you know it – it’s lunch time! Road trips open up even more opportunities for regrettable snacking…rest stop vending machines, gas station quickie marts and of course the never ending string of fast food restaurants that line the highway.

This summer avoid unhealthy snacking by packing your own goodies. Try these:

  • Dried or fresh fruit
  • Unsalted nuts
  • Health bars
  • Cut veggies
  • Low fat crackers or pretzels

Also remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day. It’s easy to become dehydrated while traveling, so always carry a water bottle with you.