McDonald's to Offer Kids "Happy Meals" with 20% Calories, and a Lot Less Happy?


McDonald’s announced that they will begin serving fruit or vegetables with all Happy Meals, including less fries, and 20 percent fewer calories on average. The French fry portion will be decreased from  2.4 to only 1.1 ounces.  The fruit or vegetable dish may include apples (minus the caramel sauce), carrots, raisins, mandarin oranges, and pineapple. I don’t know about you, but I think LESS fries sounds quite sad because last I checked, there’s only like a handful of fries in a regular Happy Meal as it is!

Possibly these changes will be welcome by parents who buy Happy Meals for their kids on a regular or daily basis. But for my family, my kids get a Happy Meal maybe once a month, if that? So when we indulge in them, we do it for the fries and not those weird apples that are treated with who knows what chemicals to stay “fresh”. I mean, when we want to splurge on an ice cream cone at our favorite shoppe, I don’t want to find that they’ve made it all sugar-free or less calories in trade for portion size or quality. In moderation, treats are good and fun!

I guess I would prefer that the fruit and veggie Happy Meals be an option and not the only offering. For busy parents that have no other choice to stop at McDonald’s for their kids’ dinner every day (just trying to play devil’s advocate) I guess I can see the healthier Happy Meal a plus. But, there’s also salads or, driving thru a healthier fast-food restaurant.

Let us get the original kind if we want, otherwise I’ll just be ordering off the regular menu on the rare occasion we stop in, and my kids will have to just live without the crappy McDonald’s Happy Meal toys (although when they offer anything Star Wars, it’s hard to say no.)

The changes are scheduled to take effect in September in some markets and then all McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S. by next year. What do you think? Should those of us that do know how to adhere to a good balance of healthy eating and indulgences be punished for those that don’t? Do the new meals make you happy?

Hat tip to Cheat Sheet

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