Of course, I shouldn't have been surprised. Kids' meals are anything but small, as was evidenced by a 2008 study conducted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest that analyzed 1,474 kids' meals at 13 top restaurant chains. It found that 93 percent of them exceeded what the Institute of Medicine would recommend as a child's maximal meal calories.
Now for us, eating out is not the norm, but even though we don't eat out often, my kids eat out more frequently than I did when I was a kid. When I was a kid, eating out was an exceedingly rare treat—yet for many kids today, it's normal, and often occurs more than once a week. [Read more: It's Time to Reclaim Our Kitchens]