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, Meanwhile, your kids are probably most concerned about the fun toys that come in each kids meal.
So we’ll tackle both! This is a list of the best 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 Kid’s Meal
Wendy’s perfectly portions their kid’s meals for little ones and offers a few different entrees – chicken nuggets, hamburgers, and cheeseburgers. Each meal comes with the main dish, a drink, and a side.
For sides, you can pick from Kids’ Natural-Cut Fries, strawberries and blueberries, or apple slices. For drinks, you have a few more options, including Nestle Pure Life Bottled Water, Honest Kids Apple Juice, or 1% regular milk, or 1% chocolate milk.
But what about the toys? Currently, Wendy’s kid’s 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 kid’s 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 Kid’s 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 and a small drink.
Side options include cajun poutine, coleslaw, mashed potatoes, onion rings, Mac and cheese, cajun fries, red beans and rice, and corn on the cob.
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 Kid’s Meal
Ordering Cheesecake Factory’s kid’s 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 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 kid’s subs. The Black Forest Ham is one of the more popular options on the Subway 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! And we have Subway coupons that might come in handy if you’re headed there.
Chick-Fil-A Chick-n-Strips Kid’s Meal
Chick-Fil-A is always a treat, no matter what age you are.
The Chick-n-Strip meal is one of the hottest items on their 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 Kid’s 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 menu options for their young consumers.
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.
Or you can check out the whole Arby’s menu before you decide.
Chipotle Kid’s Quesadilla
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 kid’s meal comes with a side of tortilla chips, fruit, and a drink (organic milk, organic chocolate milk, organic apple juice, soda, or iced tea.)
Burger Kid’s 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 Kid’s 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. And that’s not the only way you can score Panera on the cheap(er).
If you were hoping to feed your kiddo something more nutritious, check out the healthiest fast food items for kids.