Dairy Queen wants to help its youngest customers eat just a little bit healthier. Following the lead of McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's, the Blizzard maker will no longer list soda among beverages available in kids' meals. Children—or their parents—can still request a soft drink for the meal, but the default options in the U.S. will be milk or water starting September 1.
That means a DQ kids' meal can still include such combos as a hot dog with fries, or chicken strips and a banana, or a cheeseburger with a side of apple sauce. But meals will no longer be paired with a kids' size Arctic Rush slushy or cola.
They will still come with an ice cream bar, ice cream sandwich, or cone. And really, that's probably what the kids went there for in the first place.
DQ already offers a healthy chicken wrap-banana-water option for kids, but advocacy groups including MomsRising and the Center for Science in the Public Interest have been pressuring the chain to remove soda from the kids menu. "We need more restaurants to do the same," said Monifa Bandele, Senior Campaign Director of MomsRising, in a statement.
DQ spokesman Dean Peters said the move is part of a wider effort at the chain to offer healthier choices like salad and grilled chicken sandwiches to adults and children alike. "It's up to consumers what they want," he said to BuzzFeed News.