In an attempt to satisfy parents demand for a healthier Happy Meal, McDonald's has constructed a meal that is 110 calories and 7 grams of fat less than the traditional Happy Meal we have grown accustomed to over the years.
1.2 ounces of apple slices will be featured in every meal, no longer requiring the parent to request them as a substitute for french fries. The french fries will still remain part of the meal, but have been reduced in portion size. In addition, parents will possess the option to replace soda with fat-free chocolate milk or reduced fat-white milk.
The changes brought about demonstrate clear progress from McDonald's to improve the health standards for our youth. The new happy meal signifies a 20% reduction in calories from the previous meal. A new Happy Meal with chicken nuggets and 1% milk is 410 calories and 19 grams of fat, improvement from the old version which was 520 calories and 26 grams of fat. Sodium levels have also been lowered in all foods by 15%.
The changes brought about are a reflection of the backlash McDonald's has faced from health critics and parents to provide children with a healthier meal, while maintaining the aura and prestige kids hold in regard to the meal. Despite constant complaint, McDonald's has always provided the option of fruit as a substitute for fries. Research, however, showed that only 11% of parents took advantage of that option. The introduction of the new meal will rid parents of the choice, ensuring that children across the country will indeed enjoy a healthier Happy Meal.