August 1, 2011


McDonald's forced decriminalization of the Happy Meal got a lot of play last week, even though the healthier changes--apples, no dipper, fewer fries, vegetable option, no sodas--don't take effect until September. And frankly, except for the vegetable [probably carrot sticks] alternative, they've basically been available all along. And they all seem like such no brainers, so big whoop, right?

Except that apparently only 11% of Happy Meals are ordered with apple dippers instead of fries?? That's amazing. It's like Wall*E is already here. We usually get one of each, and end up splitting the fries between the kids anyway, because they just don't eat that many. And I still end up finishing off a McNugget apiece.

But man, it blows my apparently un-American mind how "McDonald's made it clear that it was changing the composition of Happy Meals in response to parental and consumer pressure."

Which I take to mean they're trying to convince politicians that changes in child nutrition regulations or menu labeling laws had nothing to do with it, so don't bother tightening any more laws, mkay?

McDonad's Alters Happy Meals, Shrinks Fries [nyt]


I think we get fries at least half of the time, even though we always order the apples.

We used to get our son the apples, but have largely given up on that. To be honest our son is so used to eating smaller portions, that a happy meal has just too much food in it for him and more often than not he doesn't touch the side.

We rarely eat at McD's, but when we do I always get a small fry because I like their fries. I used to get the kids apples, but now they want my fries, so I do what you do, get one with fries, one with apples and split it between them. Great minds think alike. My older son also tells me every time that only he can have chocolate milk and his brother has to have plain :)

My son loves the apple dippers. He usually steals a few of my fries, but so what? I'll get him the chocolate milk too, because you know what? Going to McD's is a treat for him. TREAT. As in not an every day occurrence.

Come on parents, step up and use your noggin. YOU have the power to influence your kids decisions...use it, or put up with the results. BE A PARENT.

I do the opposite...I order the apples, but then I eat them and give the kid my fries. Heck, I don't need the extra calories and sodium!

When I was a kid, my unemployed single mom and I would split a regular hamburger. No fries. No toy. And yet, I was as happy as my kids are today. Sometimes innovation isn't good, I think.

I think the apple dippers are delicious! However, I don't think it's the meals at McDonalds that are the issue here (or should be), I think the problem is that too many parents use fast food restaurants as an every day meal plan, and there's simply no way to make that healthy. Personally, when I go to McDonalds I go with the knowledge that I'm getting something greasy and unhealthy and it's no big deal because I don't do it all that often. For kids, they don't have a choice. I think it's great that they're including healthy(er) choices.

I agree with Rob- it's a treat, and as long as it's treated as such then who cares?

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