Even Toys Aren't Enough To Tempt Children To Eat Kids Meals These Days

It should come as good news to parents who are sick of stepping on plastic pieces of various toys that come from fast food restaurants or other chains: Kids meals aren’t as popular as they used to be, perhaps because children are just way too cool for such things at an earlier age.

The Orlando Sentinel cites figures from market-research firm NPD Group, which says sales of child meals that include toys dropped by 6% last year, from 1.3 billion to 1.2 billion.

Perhaps it’s because meals with toys are often found at fast food restaurants, and parents are becoming more health-conscious. Or, in this age of technology that even a kid can use, little ones have sophisticated tastes and can’t be bothered by boring pieces of plastic. There are iPads to play with, after all.

“That’s not necessarily what kids today want,” said Bonnie Riggs, NPD’s restaurant analyst. “They’ve become more sophisticated in their palettes. They’re looking for smaller versions of some of the things mom and dad order.”

Instead, parents are ordering adult items for their children and giving them half, because kids don’t want as many peanut butter and jelly or hot dogs. Often, halving an adult value meal can be cheaper than paying for a whole child-sized meal.

Basically, kids want to be like mom and dad, and that means swiping their smartphones as well as their fancy sandwiches. And if a meal doesn’t come with a tablet they can play Angry Birds on, forget about it.

There’s less appetite for children’s meals at restaurants [Orlando Sentinel]