McDonald's Happy Meals about to get healthier

McDonald's Happy Meals about to get healthier

By this June, McDonald's promises to have all Happy Meal menu options be 600 calories or fewer, plus they will fit the new criteria for sugar and saturated fat.

The five new commitments announced this week include a desire for 50 per cent or more of Happy Meal combinations to be 600 calories or less, with 28 per cent now meeting that criteria.

MCDONALD'S is working on a new "healthy" Happy Meal as it announced plans to scrapping cheeseburgers from its menu.

The portion of french fries will be reduced in the 6-piece Chicken McNugget meal by replacing the "small" French fries with 'kids-size'd fries. For starters, McDonald's is cutting the cheeseburger from their kids' menu unless a customer specifically requests it. McDonald's intends to restore chocolate milk to the menu once its comes up with a new formula with less added sugar.

Later in 2018, bottled water will be added as a featured beverage choice on Happy Meal menu boards.

To reach its nutrition goal, McDonald's will add, reformulate or remove menu offerings from the Happy Meal section of the menu board.


"Depending on the customer's specific meal selection", McDonald's said, the new Happy Meals could reduce calories by 20%, added sugars by 50%, saturated fat by 13% and/or sodium by 17%.

The Happy Meal has always been a target of health advocates and parents who link it to childhood obesity. "Most recently, it swapped out its apple juice for one that has less sugar", reports the AP's Joseph Pisani.

Outside kids' meals, McDonald's has introduced vegetarian and vegan burger options in parts of Europe.

In 2011, McDonald's added apple slices to Happy Meals.

The company also says it will aim to use its size and scale to leverage innovative marketing to "help serve more fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, lean protein and water in Happy Meals", according to the company release. During that same period, the number of Happy Meals that included soda and other beverages decreased from 62 percent to 48 percent.

The chain's USA restaurants will continue to offer Happy Meal cheeseburgers on request, which nudges diners to change behavior. "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".

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