If your child wants an ice-cold soda with their Applebee's dinner, you'll have to order it from the adult menu.
Applebee's and IHOP are the latest dining chains that have removed sodas from the children's menu. Both companies are owned by DineEquity and join fast food chains McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and Dairy Queen in removing the sugary beverages from the menus meant for kids.
Fast casual dining eateries Subway, Chipotle and Panera have also removed soda from the children's menu.
"We believe in having a broad variety of selections so our guests have a choice that best meets their needs. While soft drinks are still available by request, we believe this is a small step in assisting parents when dining out, as parents are in the best position to determine the appropriate food and beverage choices for their children," a DineEquity representative said in a report from 10 News out of Tampa, FL.
The move is being praised by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), which has long advocated for restaurants to begin removing sugary beverages from kids' menus.
"Soda and other sugar drinks promote diabetes, obesity, tooth decay, and even heart disease, and a kids' menu is no place for disease-promoting drinks," CSPI nutrition policy counsel Jessica Almy said in a statement. "Kudos to Applebee's for taking this important step to promote children's health. Other sit-down chains such as Chili's should follow Applebee's lead."
The announcement comes the same week that a law goes into effect requiring many New York City restaurants to put excessive salt warnings on their menus. The salt shaker is placed next to items that contain more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium, which is the recommended daily maximum. The law applies only to restaurants with 15 or more locations nationwide, as well as some concessions stands.