Post by Maria Godoy, The Salt at NPR Food (7/23/13)
That Crunchy Taco will no longer come with a side of toy.
Taco Bell announced Tuesday that it is ditching kids' meals and the trinkets that come with them at its U.S. locations. The items will begin to come off menus starting this month, the company says, and should be completely gone by January 2014.
"As we continue our journey of being a better, more relevant Taco Bell, kids' meals and toys simply no longer make sense for us to put resources behind," Greg Creed, chief executive officer of Taco Bell, said in a statement announcing the move.
The decision may be a financial one, but nutrition advocates have been calling on fast food chains to drop the use of toys in menu items aimed at kids for years. Critics have long argued that such toy accompaniments serve as a lure to hook young eaters on food that's often loaded with calories, fat and salt.