McDonald's will Make Healthier Happy Meals by 2022

Cornelia Mascio
Febbraio 15, 2018

Currently, 28 per cent of Happy Meal combinations offered on menu boards in 20 of McDonald's major markets meet the new criteria.

A spokesperson from McDonald's said: "We take our responsibility to families very seriously and in the United Kingdom we have, for a long time, been committed to evolving our Happy Meal menu to keep in step with what parents want".

Even though cheeseburgers and chocolate milk are being banished from the menu, kids can still order the items by request. Among other things, restaurants in Italy offer a Happy Meal grilled chicken sandwich; pineapple spears are on the menu in Spain; and cooked corn is a vegetable option in China, Japan and Taiwan. For starters, McDonald's is cutting the cheeseburger from their kids' menu unless a customer specifically requests it. McDonald's plans to remove artificial flavors and added colors from artificial sources in Happy Meals as well as reduce artificial preservatives where feasible, the company said.

To reach its nutrition goal, McDonald's will add, reformulate or remove menu offerings from the Happy Meal section of the menu board.

The fast food giant announced Thursday that by the end of 2022, at least 50% of Happy Meals listed on menus worldwide will have caps of 600 calories, 10% of calories coming from saturated fat, 650 mg sodium and 10% of calories coming from added sugar. Maybe with the help of changes to their Happy Meals, we won't have to. "The Happy Meal is a key part of that", Pisani continues.

The company called its initiative part of "an expanded commitment to families" that includes improvement of the nutrition in its Happy Meals.

Though the Happy Meal remains a top seller, she said the burger behemoth will be watching to see if parents are embracing the changes through increased sales of healthier kids meal options.

Julia Braun said that customers are looking for options today they can feel good about eating. In 2011, it began including Apple Slices in all Happy Meals along with a reduced portion of fries.

McDonald's will make healthier Happy Meals by using its size and scale to purchase advanced marketing in order to add more vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and water, and fruit in Happy Meals.

The American Heart Association, along with the Clinton Foundation, is a co-founder of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

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