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NEW Happy Meals
July 27, 2011 at 8:53 AM


Happy Meal will have apples unless you ask for fries

» 7 Comments | Post a Comment

There will still be toys in the bags, but apples will soon reign supreme over French fries in the iconic McDonald's Happy Meal.

The fast food giant on Tuesday announced a long-term project to overhaul the Happy Meal, along with many adult items too, and generally improve the nutrition makeup of menu items.

For starters, the new Happy Meal will come with apple slices, not fries, as the standard option.

And for kids who pitch a protest and demand fries, they will come in a smaller size, 1.1 ounces, instead of the current 2.4-ounce bag. The caramel dipping sauce will go away.

Together, the choices could cut the overall calorie count by 20 percent.

Parents will still have the option of choosing chicken nuggets or burgers, and whatever drink they like – soda, milk, orange juice or water.

The prices won't change.

For now, the switch will go against the current of customer preferences.

McDonald's executives say that given the choice between fries and apples, only 11 percent of customers pick apples.

The changes are part of a multi-year drive at McDonald's to improve the nutrition makeup of its overall menu to have less sodium, lower fat options and more fruits, veggies and whole grains.

It's also part of a drive at McDonald's to shed its role as a major target in the debate over childhood obesity.

Happy Meals have long been a target of health advocates and even city councils, which fault them as ways to tempt kids into eating unhealthy fast food.

Asked if toys would go away, McDonald's officials said absolutely not.

"That's what makes them happy," said Jan Fields, president of McDonald's USA.

New Happy Meals will start appearing in restaurants in 10 markets this September, with a full rollout to all 14,000 U.S. locations by the second quarter next year.

Overall, they'll still weigh in at just under 600 calories.


  • steelcrazy
    July 28, 2011 at 10:58 AM

     I posted this in another group for another discussion, but it really does apply to this post as well.

    Let's compare Happy Meals, I got my info from the McDonald's nutrition information list.

    Happy meal #1 is 4 piece chicken nuggets, fries, and Sprite

    In this meal there are 530 calories, 550 mg of sodium, and 28 g of sugar.

    Happy meal #2 is 4 piece chicken nuggets, apple dippers with carmel dip and chocolate milk.

    In this meal there are 460 calories, 545 mg sodium, and 40 g of sugar.

    When looking at them like this I really can't say that happy meal #2 is any more healthy than happy meal #1.  The whole point to all of this is to point out that sometimes what we perceive to be the healthy option really isn't any better than the perceived unhealthy option.

  • Peanutx3
    July 28, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    Eh we don't eat there so it makes no difference to me.  Providing apples instead of fries does not make the rest of the meal healthy.

  • LilyofPhilly
    July 28, 2011 at 11:17 AM
    Apples won't matter if your kid gets e-coli from ground beef.

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