McDonald's to Give Cheeseburger Happy Meals the Boot

by Lawrence Cooper February 17, 2018, 0:17
McDonald's to Give Cheeseburger Happy Meals the Boot

McDonald's revealed that it will soon remove cheeseburgers and chocolate milk from its Happy Meal menu in an attempt to cut down on the amount of unhealthy food consumed by children, and some say it's a result of former first lady Michelle Obama's initiative to make children healthier.

From June, only hamburgers and Chicken McNuggets will be listed on the Happy Meal menu boards at US McDonald's, although cheeseburgers will still be available if customers ask for them.

McDonald's won't be offering cheeseburgers on Happy Meal menus in USA restaurants starting in June. Additional changes include reducing the size of fries included with the six-piece Chicken McNugget Happy Meal from the current small fry to a children's-sized portion.

McDonald's is overhauling the Happy Meal with the goal of giving kids more nutritious options. "If you're in a restaurant and your child smells french fries and sees the soda, it's very hard for kids to get the healthier choices", she said. Now it comes with a standard small fry, in future this will change to a smaller kiddie size.

In 2011, McDonald's added apple slices to Happy Meals. "The cheeseburger will only be available at a customer's request", it stated. McDonald's wants to get Happy Meals 600 calories or less.

McDonald's is aiming for one-hundred percent of Happy Meals to meet the reduced calorie, sugar and fat requirements - and for 78 percent to meet the new sodium criteria - by June 2018, which would reduce calories by an average 20 percent, added sugars by 50 percent, saturated fat by 13 percent "and/or" sodium by 17 percent.

Beginning in June in the USA, only hamburgers or chicken McNuggets (four or six piece) will be posted as main item choices in the beloved kids' meals that features a toy hidden inside.

McDonald's doesn't say how much revenue it makes from the $3 Happy Meal, but the company said 30 percent of all visits come from families. Later in the year, the company will offer bottled water as a featured beverage on the Happy Meal menu. "Happy Meals are vehicles for hooking kids on junk food and building brand affinity for life".

"We have pioneered an extensive salt and sugar reduction programme, and subsequently the average Happy Meal consumed in the United Kingdom past year contained 19.3% less salt, 9.4% less saturated fat, and 13.5% less sugar, compared with the average Happy Meal sold in 2006".

In 2013, McDonald's removed soda from its Happy Meal menus. In particular, sugary drinks such as lemonade, soda and fruit drinks, often included with kids' meals, are too high in sugar.

McDonald's announced in January it plans to bring back its Archburger, which is made with fresh beef, according to the Deseret News. "Today's announcement represents meaningful progress".

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