The Atlanta-based chain plans to announce Monday that it is adding grilled chicken nuggets to its kids menu. Though many fast-food chains, including big names like Wendy’s Co. and McDonald’s Corp., have added apple slices and milk to kids meals, they kept cheeseburgers and fried nuggets as the main course.
“Everybody else has been dancing around and dabbling with the side options, but from what we know we’re the only ones taking a stab at the main entre,” said Mark Baldwin, a spokesman for the privately-held chain.
A four-count of the grilled nuggets will have 80 calories and 1 gram of fat, compared to 130 calories and 6 grams of fat in the regular, fried version. Fruit cups and a new option, applesauce, will be available as side dishes.
This doesn’t mean Chick-fil-A is getting rid of the fatty foods. The regular nuggets will still be available. Kids, never known to turn down French fries, will still be able to order a small serving of waffle fries, which packs 300 calories and 16 grams of fat, as their side dish. Baldwin said the restaurant wants to offer options for all dietary needs.
Fast-food chains have been eager to show they’re concerned about kids’ health. First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity has given fuel to those who blame the industry for kids’ health-related problems. New regulations from the health care overhaul will require many restaurants to post nutrition information on their menus. And federal agencies are considering whether to curb companies from advertising unhealthy food to kids.
Baldwin said that Chick-fil-A’s move wasn’t related to any of the impending regulations.
The grilled nuggets will be offered only on the kids menu, but Chick-fil-A said it will accommodate adults who want to order them.