In The News: McDonald's Happy Meals Get a Makeover

| 7/28/2011 10:47:53 AM

J.PattonWhen I was a kid, a Happy Meal was my favorite meal on the planet. This could’ve been encouraged by my grandma, who loved to spoil me and took me to McDonald’s every chance she got. In my mind, there was nothing tastier than an order of chicken nuggets and French fries.

Since then, my adult taste buds and my knowledge of health and nutrition have steered me clear of fast food altogether. However, many kids across the country still indulge in Happy Meals every day, and their lives are about to alter.

McDonald’s, no doubt responding to pressure from health advocates and parents nationwide, has given their Happy Meal a facelift. On Tuesday, the company announced that it would cut the amount of French fries in each of the popular kids' meals in half and replace them with apple slices.

Photo by happymealy/Courtesy Flickr 

This will reduce the calorie count in each Happy Meal by about 20 percent, which is a step in the right direction, since today’s Happy Meal with chicken nuggets contains a whopping 520 calories. The changes will be introduced in September and be in full effect at every McDonald’s restaurant by April 2012.

In addition to this major menu change, for the rest of the decade the company will focus on reducing salts, saturated fats and sugars in each of its menu items.