Panera's CEO Challenges Fast Food CEOs to Eat Their Kids' Meals for a Week

Because healthy kids' meals should be the norm, not the exception.

It's no secret that most kids menus are nutritional nightmares—pizza, nuggets, fries, sugary drinks. But Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich is hoping to change all that by offering kid-sized versions of almost everything on the chain's regular menu, including turkey chili, a greek salad with quinoa, and whole-grain flatbread with turkey and cranberries.

"For too long, food chains in the United States have served our children poorly, offering menu items like pizza, nuggets, fries accompanied by cheap toys and sugar-laced drinks." Shaich explained in a video on Panera's Twitter feed. "At Panera, we have a new approach to kids' food. We now offer children almost 250 clean combinations."

Because healthy kids' meals should be the norm, not the exception.

He then threw down the gaunlet in an attempt to get other fast food joints to do the same.

"I challenge the CEOs of McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King to eat off of their kids menu for a week," he says. "Or to re-evaluate what they're serving our children in their restaurants."

Pretty awesome. And to drive the point home, Shaich then posted a picture of himself eating one of Panera's kids' meals

"I'm eating lunch from our kids menu," he wrote in the caption. "@Wendys @McDonalds @BurgerKing Will you eat from yours?"

So far, none of those 3 CEOs have accepted the challenge (though McDonald's did recently announce that they are adding organic Honest Kids Juice Drinks to their Happy Meals). But one Denver-based eatery was only too happy to step up to the plate. The executive team from Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill says it will eat the company's kids' meals not just for one week, but for 30 days and will raise money for charity while doing so.

Way to go, guys! Ok, who's next?

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Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Instagram

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