No more cheeseburgers and chocolate milk?
That’s the go, according to the latest word from McDonald’s. The popular fast food chain is swapping out childhood favourites for healthier options in an effort to cut down on calories, sodium, saturated fat and sugar.
The Happy Meal changes are set to take place in the United States by June 2018 with Australian Macca’s also implementing some swaps to the much-loved Happy Meal.
Cheeseburgers and choc milk get the boot
In America, both cheeseburgers and chocolate milk are getting the flick from the Happy Meal menu. Parents can still order the favourites, but they won’t be listed on the menu or advertised, making it less likely kids will ask for them. Instead of chocolate milk, kids can choose from low sugar juice and water. No soft drink either.
600 calories or under
Another big change is that all Happy Meal options need to come in at 600 calories or under and have less than 650 milligrams of sodium. They also want less than 10 percent of the meal’s calories to come from saturated fat and added sugar.
Small fries made even smaller
McDonalds confirms that popular menu item, the six-piece nuggets, will stay. But the fries served in the meal are shrinking from small to mini size (or kid-sized).
All of these changes are designed to help parents make smarter, healthier choices for their kids and cut back on the rate of childhood obesity. In America, one in three teenagers or kids are overweight or obese. And one in four Aussie kids are overweight or obese, official figures show. Many blame fast food for these numbers.
In the McDonald’s official press release, Steve Easterbrook, president and CEO, wrote, “We recognise the opportunity that we have to support families as one of the most visited restaurants in the world, and remain committed to elevating our food…
Given our scale and reach, we hope these actions will bring more choices to consumers and uniquely benefit millions of families, which are important steps as we build a better McDonald’s.”
What about Australia?
These changes will impact our Maccas too. At least half of the Happy Meal options must meet its new nutritional guidelines.
While Happy Meals here already serve apple slices and water as an option, we can expect Maccas to potentially add items like sliced veggies and grilled chicken to the menu.
We’re not sure kids will be too happy with the new Happy Meal. But, hey, at least it may stop their constant requests for Maccas for dinner!
Looking for more major news from the food front? Have a look at the nationwide recall on the sold-out and highly-sought after Cadbury Caramilk chocolate bar.