Statement of CSPI senior policy associate Hillary Caron

The Wilmington City Council this evening unanimously passed a healthier kids’ meal policy.  Wilmington joins a dozen other communities, including Baltimore, Louisville, and the state of California, that have passed healthy kids’ meal policies. Similar policies are being considered in New York City and the District of Columbia. Even the beverage industry agrees that soda and other sugary drinks don’t belong on the kids’ menu.

Once signed by Mayor Mike Purzycki, the new policy will ensure that healthier beverages like water, milk, and 100 percent juice are the default options offered with children’s meals at all restaurants in the city. (Parents can still request a different drink for their children if they choose.)

With families eating out regularly, and three-quarters of the top restaurant chains still marketing sugary drinks on their kids’ menus, policymakers across the country are looking to kids’ meals as a promising strategy to reduce sugary drink consumption among children. Last month, California signed into law the first statewide healthy kids’ meal policy. 

We applaud Councilman Vash Turner, Councilman Earnest “Trippi” Congo, and the rest of the Wilmington City Council for their leadership in supporting parents’ efforts to feed their children healthfully. We urge Mayor Purzycki to sign the legislation.