Healthy Happy Meal: McDonald’s Kicks Out Cheeseburgers and Chocolate Milk

McDonald’s has made a commitment that by 2022, the company will make improvements to their Happy Meal menus across 120 markets. According to the company, they plan to offer more balanced meals, simplify ingredients, continue to be transparent with Happy Meal nutrition information, reinforce responsible marketing to children and leverage innovative marketing to help impact the purchase of foods and beverages that contain recommended food groups in Happy Meals.

The fast food company is only making cheeseburgers and chocolate milk available in Happy Meals by request, planning to reduce the amount of french fries that come with chicken nuggets, as well as make other changes to the kid’s meals that involves reducing calories, fat and salt.

By the end of 2022, at least 50% or more of Happy Meals will meet McDonald’s new Global Happy Meal Nutrition Criteria of less than or equal to 600 calories, 10% of calories from saturated fat and 10 percent of calories from added sugar. Sodium will also be limited.

“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,” said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s President and CEO.

The company plans to simplify ingredients by removing artificial flavors, added colors from artificial sources and reducing artificial preservatives where they can.

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Changes will be made to the McDonald’s menu this year

The company has already begun certain steps towards their goal. For example, back in 2016, McDonald’s USA removed artificial preservatives from chicken nuggets.

According to the website, an accelerated amount of changes will happen to the company’s menus this year. For June 2018, 100% of McDonald’s meal combinations will be 600 calories or less.

The company states that with these new menu actions, there will be a reduction of 20 percent in calories, 50 percent in added sugars, 13 percent in saturated fats and/or 17 percent in sodium, depending on the customer’s meal selection.

Julia Braun, MPH, Registered Dietitian and Head of Global Nutrition at McDonald’s, said, “Our efforts have led to big changes and real progress and as part of our continued food journey, we’re committed to making it easier for families to choose balanced options that will make measurable differences.”