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Tania is currently the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Hudsucker, and Senior Editor at the Nashville, Tennessee based PopCulture.com. With past writing and editing credits with Womanista, Quietly, the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) and NBC Newsvine, she is currently a member of Indianapolis based, Society of Professional Journalists — one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists. She is an avid Indianapolis Colts, Elvis Presley and baseball fan as well as a lover of pancakes and fine cheeses, film, and music. Tania is a Hoosier at heart with a passionate wanderlust for always traveling and giving back to those in her community. She is currently studying at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Follow Tania on Twitter: @westlifebunny.

McDonald’s Makes Major Changes to Its Happy Meals

{Image Credit: McDonalds}

There is nothing that epitomizes childhood more than the beloved Happy Meal from McDonald’s. But with customers making more diet-conscious choices, the fast food chain is about to give its kiddie meal a major face lift in an effort to push for healthier, more balanced meals.

The company announced in a press release Thursday that McDonald’s is making big changes to its Happy Meals with a promise before 2022 to offer “more balanced” Happy Meals in 120 different markets around the world.

The new changes mean at least half of the Happy Meals on numerous menus around the world will now be under 600 calories, contain less than 650 mg of sodium with less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat, and less than 10 percent of calories from added sugar.

As of now, 28 percent of Happy Meal combinations offered on menu boards in 20 major markets around the world meet these new nutrition criteria. In order to reach this goal of 50 percent or more though, markets are looking to add new menu offerings and reformulate or remove menu offerings from the menu board’s selection.

With a commitment to push healthy, McDonald’s Italy introduced a new HappyMeal entrée called the “Junior Chicken,” a lean protein sandwich (grilled chicken), while its Australian division is currently exploring vegetable and lean protein options, with France close to offering new vegetable options.

However, when it comes to the home market, the U.S. is looking to move things more quickly. By summer, McDonald’s U.S. promises to have all Happy Meal menu options be 600 calories and fewer, plus fit in new criteria for sugar and saturated fats. Moreover, 78 percent of Happy Meal options will fit the sodium requirement.

American Happy Meals will limit the menu to entrée items like, the hamburger, 4-piece and 6-piece Chicken McNuggets, and the cheeseburger will only be available by the customer’s request.

They are also looking to replace the small fries with a kid-sized fries in the 6-piece McNugget meal, reformulate the chocolate milk to have less sugar, and offer bottled water as an option, while selling a different version of their signature apple juice with less sugar. In December 2017, McDonald’s U.S. completed the transition to the “Honest Kids Appley Ever After” organic juice drink, which has 45 less calories and half the total sugar than the prior 100 percent apple juice served in the States.

According to the release, McDonald’s U.S. last announced changes of this magnitude in 2013 as part of its commitment with Healthier Generation. With its commitment to putting health first, the company removed soda from the Happy Meal section of its menu boards. This effort resulted in a 14 percentage point increase in the number of Happy Meals ordered that include water, milk or juice as their beverage choice.

Are you looking forward to the new changes from McDonald’s? Do you think they could do more when it comes to reformulating a health-conscious menu? Let us know in the comments below.

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One Comment on “McDonald’s Makes Major Changes to Its Happy Meals”

  1. Kingpin Pictures March 1, 2018 at 7:42 pm #

    I honestly don’t trust McDonalds at all

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