Changes coming to McDonald's Happy Meals to improve nutrition

Changes coming to McDonald's Happy Meals to improve nutrition

By 2022, the Happy Meal menu across 120 global markets will improve to offer more balanced meals and simplify ingredients.

McDonald's removed soda from the Happy Meal menu in 2013.

McDonald's regulars will see changes to the Happy Meal menu as early as June 2018, when 100 percent of the meal combinations offered on Happy Meal menu boards in the USA will be 600 calories or fewer, and 100 percent of those meal combinations will be compliant with the new nutrition criteria for added sugar, saturated fat, and 78 percent compliant with the new sodium criteria, the company announced on February 14. In Italy, for example, the newly introduced Junior Chicken sandwich is made with lean grilled chicken, while markets in France and Australia are developing more vegetable menu items. Currently, the Happy Meal menu lists milk, chocolate milk and apple juice. Maybe with the help of changes to their Happy Meals, we won't have to.

By June, 100 percent of Happy Meal menu combinations at restaurants across the U.S. will be 600 calories or less, and likewise comply with the new nutritional goals for added sugar and fat.

The company called its initiative part of "an expanded commitment to families" that includes improvement of the nutrition in its Happy Meals. "Customers are looking for options today they can feel good about eating", said Julia Braun, the burger chain's head of global nutrition.

In a move that might not make kids happy but please their parents, McDonald's is eliminating cheeseburgers and chocolate milk from Happy Meals. Bottled water will be added to Happy Meal menus, too.

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The planned menu updates will result in an average reduction of 20% in calories, 50% in added sugars, 13% in saturated fat and/or 17% in sodium.

Happy Meals were born in June 1979 in fact (so really they were around for your entire '80s childhood).

Chocolate milk will also be reformulated to reduce the amount of added sugar. "The Happy Meal is a key part of that", Pisani continues. That is what happened when the company took soda off the official menu option for Happy Meals.

McDonald's' Happy Meal renovation stems from its partnership with the Alliance for Healthier Generation.

In December 2017, McDonald's United States of America completed the transition to 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 U.S. We urge restaurants around the world to follow suit and promote better-for-you food and beverage choices.

McDonald's healthier Happy Meal commitments apply to all market globally with measurement and reporting of progress among 20 markets, the company said, representing almost 85% of global sales.

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