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McDonald's To Make Healthier Happy Meal, Putting Smiles on Parents' Faces

Posted by tina

It may have taken them a while to get on board, but McDonald’s Happy Meals are just a little bit healthier. (Insert kids groaning here.)

Beginning in September, the popular kids meals will have fewer French fries and will automatically include apple slices with the meal, as McDonald’s Corp shifts its focus on to the health of the children who consume their meals.

In a webcast, McDonald’s senior director of nutrition Cindy Goody explained, "We are going to be casting our gaze more closely on portion management as well as how we can introduce more food groups such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains."

The French fry / apple swap is a small step but does shave off 100 calories from the overall meal, putting the Happy Meals under the 600 calorie benchmark. McDonald’s took heat in San Francisco and Santa Clara County for including toys in meals that did not mean the nutritional standards of the city.

Well, McDonald’s new happy meals still come up a bit shy, as they do not contain a vegetable, but so far, the toys will stay.

According to company reps, the recent health changes are not due to the current negative press about the health of the meals, but have been planned for a long time. But advocacy groups are quick to say it is the duty of McDonald’s to set a benchmark for healthier meals as demanded by the public, and that in the coming years, they will have to try harder than just docking a few fries.

Parents, let us know what you think – is a Happy Meal part of your child’s dining repertoire? Do you want to see McDonald’s do more with the meals? Give us your view in the comments!

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