If you’re looking for something quick and easy, fast food is the way to go. As a parent, you may be a bit wary about things like nutrition and quality, while your kids are probably most concerned about the fun toys that come in each kids meal. We’ve already talked about the healthiest fast food items for kids, so now it’s time to cover the best fast food kids meals in terms of value, taste, and toys. Every kid deserves a treat every now and then, right? From fast casual restaurants to drive-through joints, check out our roundup that’s sure to please kiddos of all ages.
Wendy’s 4 Piece chicken Nuggets Kids Meal
Wendy’s perfectly portions their kids meals for little ones and offers a few different entrees – chicken nuggets, hamburgers, and cheeseburgers. Each meal comes with the main dish, a drink (Nestle Pure Life Bottled Water, Honest Kids Apple Juice, or 1% regular milk, or 1% chocolate milk), and a side (Kids’ Natural-Cut Fries, strawberries and blueberries, or apple slices).
What about the toys? Currently Wendy’s kids meals come with Wild Wild Animals Smartlinks, paper animals that you can put together and customize with stickers.
Applebee’s Cheesy Pizza
Applebee’s has a huge variety of kids meals, so if you’re not in the mood for a drive-thru meal, we suggest ordering takeout or delivery from your Neighborhood Bar and Grill. The kids Cheesy Pizza is a fan favorite, and it comes with a side and a drink. Sides include garlic mashed potatoes, mozzarella sticks, steamed broccoli, apple sauce, and French fries. There’s a whole slew of drinks to choose from, as well, like shakes, sodas, milk, iced tea, and lemonade.
Popeyes Chicken Leg Meal
If your kiddo has a taste for fried chicken, Popeyes has a few delicious options. Kids meals include chicken nuggets, tenders, or legs and come with a signature side (cajun poutine, Cole slaw, mashed potatoes, onion rings, Mac and cheese, cajun fries, red beans and rice, and corn on the cob, and small drink.
The Chicken Leg meal comes with one leg, so if you’re feeding an older child, opting for a combo meal may be a better idea.
Cheesecake Factory Kids’ Pasta
Ordering Cheesecake Factory’s kids’ pasta is always a good idea because it’s customizable. And who doesn’t love a giant bowl of noodles and their favorite sauce? Your little one will get the chance to order a bowl full of buttered noodles and parmesan cheese, marinara sauce, or Alfredo.
Bonus: Cheesecake Factory uses bowtie pasta instead of spaghetti for their kids’ meals, which equals less mess for you to have to clean up.
Subway Black Forest Ham Mini
An entire six-inch sub may be a bit much for a little one, but Subway’s got the perfect portion with their mini kids subs. The Black Forest Ham is one of the more popular options on the menu and comes with your choice of toppings, applesauce, and a toy.
Have a child under three years old? Subway has toys for them, too!
Chick-Fil-A Chick-n-Strips Kids Meal
Chick-Fil-A’s always a treat, no matter what age you are. The Chick-n-Strip meal is one of the hottest items on the kids menu and is rounded out with Cinnamon Apple Sauce, Waffle Potato Fries™, or Fruit Cup, along with milk or juice, and a toy. Choose between one or two Chick-n-Strips depending on your little one’s appetite.
McDonald’s Hamburger Happy Meal
Enjoying a Happy Meal as a kid is a right of passage every now and then. Over the years, McDonald’s has invested in offering healthier options for their young consumers while still providing the same delicious meals that have been a constant throughout so the decades. We love the simplicity of the Hamburger Happy Meal, which comes with a regular hamburger topped with ketchup, mustard, onions, and pickles. On the side, you get fries with the choice of apple slices or Yoplait® GO-GURT® Low Fat Strawberry Yogurt. To wash it all down, pick between the 1% Low Fat Milk Jug, DASANI® Water, or Honest Kids® Appley Ever After® Organic Juice Drink.
Of course, you can order the Happy Meal with 4 or 6 McNuggets, as well.
Arby’s Kids Ham ‘n Cheese Slider
From tasty sliders to crispy chicken tenders, Arby’s has the ultimate lineup for kids. We think any of the entrees is a solid choice, but the Ham ‘n Cheese is a no-fail option for little ones with picky taste buds. Pair it with kids curly fries or apple sauce, as well as a Capri Sun juice, low-fat white milk, or low-fat chocolate milk.
Chipotle Kid’s Quesadilla
To get your hands on an adult-sized quesadilla, you’d have to order from the Chipotle secret menu, but kids are lucky enough to have it as an option on their menu. Plus, the beauty of Chipotle is that you can customize everything, so even if you have a picky eater on your hands, there’s bound to be something he or she will like. The quesadilla comes with melted cheese and your choice of protein, like chicken, steak, barbacoa, and carnitas. On the side, you can add white or brown rice, as well as black or pinto beans. Each kids meal comes with a side of tortilla chips, fruit, and a drink (organic milk, organic chocolate milk, organic apple juice, soda, or iced tea).
McAlister’s Kids’ Spud
McAlister’s is the place to go if you want a healthier meal for your family. They’ve got options like kids salads, soup, sandwiches, bowls, and our personal favorite – spuds. These loaded baked potatoes are a fun change of pace for kids and come topped with cheddar jack cheese, bacon, butter, and sour cream. Sides include chips, apple sauce, fruit cup, potato salad, Mac and cheese, cucumber and tomato salad, and steamed broccoli. Then, finish off your meal with your choice of drink, including soda, lemonade, milk, sweet tea, and juice.
Burger King Chicken Nuggets Meal
The King Jr. menu is filled with BK’s most popular menu items, including nuggets (regular and spicy), hamburgers, and cheeseburgers. Older kids tend to love the spicy nugs, while the younger ones can’t take the heat quite yet. Either way, they come in four piece combos with dipping sauce, a side (applesauce, fries, or onion rings), and a drink (milk, chocolate milk, apple juice, soda, or orange juice).
Panera Signature Mac & Cheese Kids Meal
No matter what age you are, Panera’s Mac and cheese is a total hit. (We even created a Panera Mac & Cheese recipe so you make your own at home). Kids of all ages will love a creamy, comforting bowl of Mac, paired with a fruity yogurt and iced cold drink. Bonus: Panera usually sells bakery items for a dollar when you order food, so there’s always an incentive for your kids’ good behavior when you eat out.
Hoping to feed your kiddo something a bit more nutritious? Hop over to our list of the healthiest fast food items for kids.