Restaurant visits that included a kid's meal with a toy declined by 6 percent last year, The NPD Group reported.
In 2006, there were 21 billion family dining occasions that included kids at restaurants, 17 billion of those visits took place at fast food locations. In 2011, there were 19.5 billion family dining occasions that included kids, including 15 billion at fast food venues. Further research by NPD shows kids are eating more healthful options at quick-serve restaurants, including fruit, fruit smoothies and chicken wraps. Children diners are also growing more sophisticated, wanting to eat the same menu items as moms, according to analyst Bonnie Riggs. Downsized portions of adult menu items might just be the next kids' meal trend, she said.