Editor's note: This story has been updated with new information from Burger King.
Burger King is putting its crown on the heads of children in a new marketing push aimed at promoting the chain’s more healthful kids’ meals.
The Miami-based burger chain on Monday rolled out the new “BK Crown” for its kids' meals with interactive box packaging that includes a cardboard crown, games and other toys. The crown itself has also been redesigned, with brighter colors, a slimmer style and more jewels, the company said.
The move comes at a time when restaurant chains have been criticized for the messages they send to young guests. Health advocates have blamed increasing obesity rates among children on the marketing of “junk food” to children that uses cartoon icons and toys in kids’ meals.
Voluntary guidelines are being debated on the federal level and within the industry that would restrict kid-focused marketing to only menu items that meet certain nutritional standards.
Over the past several years, the 12,300-unit Burger King has been working to improve the nutritional content of its kids’ meal offerings by adding Apple Fries, fat-free milk and lower-calorie options, such as macaroni and cheese.
The BK Kids' Meal line, for example, now includes oatmeal as a breakfast offering for kids.