Yes, the rumors are true. California lawmakers passed a state law that forces restaurants within the state to offer only select beverages on children's menus. Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1192 into law in late September and it easily passed in both the State and the Assembly. Support for the nanny state law flew under the guise of what's healthiest for the children.
The default options for beverages on children's menus have been forced to change to unflavored milk and water.
In other words, one more option than a dungeon.
Please understand that we aren't promoting giving children HFCS-laden sodas on a regular basis, but we ARE promoting parental choice. Adamantly.
Customers can order another drink for their child by request, but clearly, the point of the law is to make it difficult (and frowned upon) to order something "unhealthy" for their child. That's how nanny-state health laws are usually created. In increments or with fines or taxes (see more below), and usually with some kind of societal shame tactic.
"Non-dairy fluid milk substitutes" containing under 130 calories can also appear as an option on the menu if that kind of drink is available at the restaurant. Again, this is an assumption of the "health" of the beverage and the idea of low calories being best for all children.
Should the government dictate what drinks a restaurant can serve to patrons? Do you want the government to decide what is healthiest for your children? When you go to McDonald's, are you there for a fat-free kale smoothie? Is this giving you flashbacks to Nanny Bloomberg's large drink ban in New York? (Which, I might add, was finally struck down in court as unconstitutional.)
That is precisely what is happening in California right as we speak. You are probably not surprised, but at the same time, when will the insanity stop?
Government nannying is insulting…
Some people might not think a few menu option changes are no big deal in the grand scheme of things. But consider this: Food is more personal than politics and religion. At least you would think so to see people fight about it online. Food is the one thing people strive to have complete control over – three times a day – in regards to their personal liberty. Going to a restaurant is an "extra" that consumers enjoy at will. It's all up to choice. So it shouldn't be viewed the government as a health need.
Food can be more intimate to someone than the typical concept of intimacy. In reality, food IS a form of intimacy. Look at the way different cultures come together as families to enjoy a particular meal. When you start a relationship, you bond over food. For some families, a meal out is the only time when the kids get to drink a soda pop, as a rare treat. Should families at a restaurant be confined to paltry portions and plain tap water for an evening out? Perish the thought!
Bonding over food is a concept as old as time. Holidays feature certain cuisine. Most religions have some guidelines about food – and people still argue about it every day!