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McDonald's Is Going to Make Happy Meals Much Healthier
15 February 2018, 08:18 | Hattie Nash
More fruit and veg on McDonald's menus
The move to make the meals healthier comes as the company is trying to make a Happy Meal come in at 600 calories or less by 2022, NPR reported.
By 2022, 50 per cent or more of the Happy Meal bundle offerings shown on menus will meet the criteria of fewer than or equal to 600 calories; less than or equal to 10 per cent of calories from saturated fat; fewer than or equal to 650 milligrams of sodium; and less than or equal to 10 per cent of calories from added sugar.
McDonald's has pledged to make its Happy Meals more nutritious. Seventy-eight percent of Happy Meal options will fit the sodium requirement.
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The company is positioning the announcement right up top as "an expanded commitment to families, supporting the company's long-term global growth plan by leveraging its reach to impact children's meals, access to reading, and keeping families together through Ronald McDonald House Charities". McDonald's Australia is "currently exploring new vegetable and lean protein options and McDonald's France is looking at new vegetable offerings", the company said in a statement. Bottled water will also be added to the Happy Meal menu.
If you're thinking back to your youth, you'd probably swear Happy Meals were an invention of the '80s - very, very close but technically not true. They'll do this by limiting the menu to a hamburger, 4-piece Chicken McNuggets, and 6-piece Chicken McNuggets. All combinations will comply with new nutritional criteria for added sugar and saturated fat, and 78 percent compliant with the new sodium criteria.
Simplifying ingredients in Happy Meals also will be a focus. So McDonald's says they plan to add new items to the menu, remove some items, and reformulate others. "The Happy Meal is a key part of that", Pisani continues. Since 2001, the company and its franchisees have distributed more than 370 million books in Happy Meals.
The American Heart Association, along with the Clinton Foundation, is a co-founder of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. This action was taken as part of a commitment with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a group that aims to empower kids to develop lifelong healthy habits.
In December 2017, McDonald's US 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.
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