McDonald's is taking cheeseburgers out of the Happy Meal

Joy Montgomery
February 16, 2018

Cheeseburgers will still be sold to small children who throw a Veruca Salt-y fit about it, but the two options listed on the menu - and therefore what most customers will order - will be a plain burger and a four-piece McNuggets. The fast food giant rolled out a plan to make Happy Meals more nutritious - and obviously, we're totally on board.

This change only applies to USA locations, but McDonald's also says that half of Happy Meals worldwide will be on a "more balanced" low-cal diet by 2022.

Bottled water will be added to Happy Meals later this year. McDonald's has made to Happy Meals, such as offering apples starting in 2004, excluding soda from the Happy Meal section of its menu boards in 2013 and swapping regular juice for a less caloric and less sugary organic equivalent late a year ago. In the past McDonald's has made many changes to the Happy Meal including adding fruit and replacing an apple juice with one that has less sugar.

McDonald's United Kingdom and Ireland has partnered with Mumsnet to add a new item to the Happy Meal menu, which is due to launch later this year.

In 2011, McDonald's announced plans to reduce added sugar and sodium in several of its Happy Meal recipes. On Thursday, the chain said many of those markets are ahead of schedule in their progress on those efforts. In a report on the restaurant's sales in 13 countries, commissioned by the Alliance past year, public policy consulting firm Keybridge found that milk, water and juice sales at McDonald's had ticked up 9 percentage points between 2013 and 2016.

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Other restaurants have also overhauled their kids' menus.

"This is going to lead to a reduction in the calories, sodium, sugar and saturated fat that countless kids around the world consume", he said.

We recognize 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, celebrating the joy of reading, and helping those in need through Ronald McDonald House Charities.

For global restaurants, McDonald's Corp. said that at least half of the Happy Meal options available must meet its new nutritional guidelines.

Asked about the criticism, McDonald's points to the changes seen in consumer behavior when soda came off the Happy Meal menu.

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