May 14, 2011

Mom's Menu Review: Panera Bread

We ordered a turkey sandwich for Evie from the kid menu.

The good:

1. Panera Bread has the kids menu section on their website. They include the nutritional information for (it looks like) everything on their menu, including the meals for kids.

2. The side provided for each meal is yogurt. At least it has some nutritional value, more than fries or potato chips. And it can be eaten by any kid over the age of 1 (without an allergy or intolerance, of course).

3.  The cheese that comes on the kid sandwiches and the yogurt are organic.

The bad:

1. The sandwich came with zero vegetables. No lettuce, no tomato, no cucumber, nothing. Perhaps if we had have asked, they may have added vegetables, but it is disappointing that some don't automatically come with the sandwich. Especially for parents who are busy with their kids, and a bit distracted by them, it's not always possible to think to ask about something like that. (In fact, now that I look at the menu, I notice that none of the kid options come with any kind of vegetable.)

2. The turkey sandwich includes 1100 mg of sodium. That's a little less than half of what is recommended for people age four and older all in one little sandwich.

3. The yogurt may be organic, but there are 10 g of sugar in a two ounce tube.

Panera Bread puts in some effort to create a reasonable kids' menu, but they still fall short. Given that we don't eat out often, and almost never eat pre-made meals at home (frozen dinners, boxed dinners, etc.), so our daughter's salt and sugar intake is mostly limited to what we feel is healthy, I won't avoid going to Panera Bread in the future. And I already know that eating there is not the healthiest choice for myself.

No comments: