McDonald's to Make Happy Meals More Nutritious

McDonald's to Make Happy Meals More Nutritious

Happy Meals are about to get healthier!

McDonald's announced today that it will be revamping its Happy Meals to be more healthy.

The fast-food giant has plans to offer more balanced meals, simply ingredients, be transparent with nutrition information, and conduct responsible marketing campaigns, among other initiatives.

"We recognise the opportunity that we have to support families as one of the most visited restaurants in the world, and remain committed to elevating our food, celebrating the joy of reading, and helping those in need through Ronald McDonald House Charities," said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald's President and CEO, in a press release.  "Given our scale and reach, we hope these actions will bring more choices to consumers and uniquely benefit millions of families, which are important steps as we build a better McDonald's."

Here is a list of changes that McDonald's plans to roll out this June:

  • Listing only the following entrée choices: Hamburger, 4-piece and 6-piece Chicken McNuggets. The Cheeseburger will only be available at a customer's request. 
  • Replacing the small French fries with kids-sized fries in the 6-piece Chicken McNugget meal, which decreases the calories and sodium in the fries serving by half.
  • Reformulating chocolate milk to reduce the amount of added sugar. During this period, chocolate milk will no longer be listed on the Happy Meal menu, but will be available at a customer's request.
  • Later this year, bottled water will be added as a featured beverage choice on Happy Meal menu boards.
  • In December 2017, McDonald's USA completed the transition to Honest Kids Appley Ever After organic juice drink, which has 45 less calories and half the total sugar than the prior 100 percent apple juice served in the U.S.  

These healthier changes will mean a reduction of 20 percent in calories, 50 percent in added sugars,13 percent in saturated fat, and/or 17 percent in sodium.

 "As a nutritionist and a mom, this is a pivotal moment as we unveil new, ambitious goals in collaboration with Healthier Generation that we hope will positively impact families around the world,"  said Julia Braun, MPH, Registered Dietitian and Head of Global Nutrition at McDonald's, in a press release. "Our efforts have led to big changes and real progress and as part of our continued food journey, we're committed to making it easier for families to choose balanced options that will make measurable differences."

As a parent to two young boys I find it nearly impossible, despite my best efforts to avoid McDonald's all together. I, for one, am relieved at hearing about these new, healthier changes. 

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