Mari's Moments

Have doubts about McDonald's 'healthy' Happy Meals? Try these DFW dining options for kids

Luna Grill is known for its kebab plates, appetizers such as falafel and hummus, and gourmet salads and wraps.
Luna Grill is known for its kebab plates, appetizers such as falafel and hummus, and gourmet salads and wraps. Courtesy photo

You may have heard that McDonald's will be offering a healthier version of its popular "Happy Meals."

The goal? Happy Meals will contain less than 600 calories — and most will contain less than 650 milligrams of salt.

While some parents may rejoice at the news, your children won't have to wait to eat healthy kids meals thanks to the following Dallas-Fort Worth restaurants, which already serve some great choices.

Here's a sampling:

Luna Grill

The Mediterranean food chain offers a kids menu of choices all under 600 calories.

What the kids will like: To get the full Mediterranean experience, kids 10 and younger can try the chicken kebab ($5.25) or gyros ($5.25), which includes sliced cucumbers and a choice of basmati rice or house salad.

What parents will like: Who needs drive-throughs when you can order online and pick it up?

Locations: Check web site for DFW Locations.


Unleavened Fresh Kitchen

The fast-casual restaurant serves up a variety of wraps to please any palate.

What the kids will like: Children 12 and younger have an option of wraps that include peanut butter with sliced strawberries ($6.75) and pizza wrap with pepperoni, mozzarella and pizza sauce ($6.75). All children's meals come with chips or fruit. There also are kids' breakfast options, including a "Baby Bird" ($5.75) turkey sausage, egg and shaved cheddar served wrapped or on a potato hash with kid's drink.


What parents will like: Every day after 4 p.m. kids eat free at Unleavened. That's right it's a "Kids Happy Hour." Plus, parents can enjoy beer or a glass of wine. Check out the board when you walk in for daily specials.

Locations: 250 State St., Suite 627, Southlake; 1900 Abrams Parkway, Dallas; 8031 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 1150, Dallas.


Jason's Deli

This go-to for quick bites and a fab salad bar has an extensive kids menu that offers vegetarian and gluten-sensitive options.

What the kids will like: Children often gravitate to the chicken nuggets on the menu. At Jason's Deli, the four-piece nugget meal (170 calories) is gluten free and made of antibiotic-free chicken breast, breaded with cornmeal. The meals for children 12 and younger come with a drink. The "Kidwich Meals" also come with a choice of organic apples, carrots, fruit or chips.

What parents will like: All kids meals contain no MSG or high fructose corn syrup.

Locations: Check web site for DFW Locations.


Pakpao Thai

This Thai restaurant in Dallas, with plans to open a Fort Worth location, doesn't have orange chicken on the kids menu and that's a good thing.

What the kids will like: The chicken satay is a safe bet for picky eaters. More adventurous eaters can try the chicken pad thai.

What parents will like: All kids meals are $5 (drinks not included). Pakpao’s chefs draw inspiration from diverse regions of Thailand. On Sundays, get a free kids meal with the purchase of an adult dine-in meal all day. Age 10 and younger.

Locations: 1628 Oak Lawn Ave., Suite 120, Dallas; 7859 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 150, Dallas


Maricar Estrella, editor of, talks about where to find authentic ramen dishes in Fort Worth. (Facebook Live video by Steve Wilson/Star-Telegram)

Maricar Estrella blogs at Find her on Twitter @mymarimoments +