McDonald’s is making Happy Meals healthier.
By 2022, cheeseburgers won’t be part of the menu for the kids’ meals, although parents can still ask for them.
The main choices will be hamburgers and four and six-piece Chicken McNuggets. And the French fry sizes will be smaller.
Bottled water will be added to Happy Meals later this year, and chocolate milk will come with less sugar.
McDonald’s also pledged to serve more fruits, vegetables and grains.
All Happy Meals in the United States will have 600 calories or less by June, and at least half of stores and drive-throughs around the world will meet that target by 2022.
McDonald’s says the calorie count in an average Happy Meal will come down 20 percent.
The company also said Thursday it will “reinforce responsible marketing to children,” in a statement.
The American Heart Association called the move an “important step in the right direction” and urged McDonald’s competitors to follow suit. The organization said 40 percent of young children eat fast food every day.
McDonald’s has been tinkering with Happy Meals for several years in response to pressure from public health groups, and to lawsuits for using toys to market to kids.
In 2011, McDonald’s added apple slices to Happy Meals. Soda came off the menu in 2013. And last year, McDonald’s replaced Minute Maid apple juice with its lower-sugar Honest Kids brand juice.
It’s also experimenting around the globe with new Happy Meal items. Last month, McDonald’s rolled out a grilled chicken sandwich in Italy, and locations in Australia and France are exploring vegetable and protein options.
Reaction To The Change
Of course, people had lots of opinions about McDonald’s move.
They took to social media to express their feelings, with some people poking fun at the decision to remove cheeseburgers from Happy Meals.
One use wrote on Twitter: “Will McDonalds Happy Meal now be called the “Meh Meal?”
Will @McDonalds Happy Meal now be called the "Meh Meal?"
— angiepenny (@TheAngiepenny) February 15, 2018
Another user wrote: “McDonalds is removing cheeseburgers from their Happy Meal men. Life will never be the same.”
.@McDonalds is removing cheeseburgers from their Happy Meal menu. Life will never be the same.
— Madison Gesiotto Gilbert (@madisongesiotto) February 15, 2018
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Written by Nathaniel Meyersohn for CNN.
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