McDonald’s moves cheeseburgers off children Happy Meal menu

Photo showing a child ‘Happy Meal’ featuring non-fat chocolate milk and a cheeseburger with fries, Feb 14, 2018. (AP)
Updated 15 February 2018

McDonald’s moves cheeseburgers off children Happy Meal menu

NEW YORK: McDonald’s is taking cheeseburgers and chocolate milk off its Happy Meal menu in an effort to cut down on the calories, sodium, saturated fat and sugar that kids consume at its restaurants.
Diners can still ask specifically for cheeseburgers or chocolate milk with the kid’s meal, but the fast-food company said that not listing them will reduce how often they’re ordered. Since it removed soda from the Happy Meal menu four years ago, orders for it with Happy Meals have fallen 14 percent, the company said. Hamburgers and Chicken McNuggets will remain the main entrees on the Happy Meal menu.
The Happy Meal has long been a target of health advocates and parents who link it to childhood obesity. McDonald’s has made many tweaks over the years, including cutting the size of its fries and adding fruit. Most recently, it swapped out its apple juice for one that has less sugar.
It’s been especially important as the company tries to shake its junk-food image, since McDonald’s is known for getting more business from families with children relative to its traditional rivals, such as Burger King and Wendy’s. McDonald’s doesn’t say how much revenue it makes from the Happy Meal, but the company said 30 percent of all visits come from families.
The latest Happy Meal changes, including new nutritional standards, will occur in the United States by June.
“It’s a good step in the right direction,” said Margo Wootan, the vice president for nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “We would love to see many more restaurants do the same.”
McDonald’s said Thursday that it wants all its Happy Meal options to have 600 calories or fewer and have less than 650 milligrams of sodium. It also wants less than 10 percent of the meal’s calories to come from saturated fat and the same percentage to come from added sugar.
The cheeseburger and chocolate milk didn’t meet those new standards, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said. It is, however, working to cut sugar from the chocolate milk and believes it’ll be back on the Happy Meal menu eventually — but doesn’t know when that will happen.
There will be other tweaks: The six-piece chicken nugget Happy Meal will now come with a kids-sized fries instead of a small, lowering calories and sodium from the fries by half. And bottled water will be added as an option to the Happy Meal menu, but will cost extra. Currently, the Happy Meal menu lists milk, chocolate milk and apple juice. Soda does not cost extra.
For international restaurants, McDonald’s Corp. said that at least half of the Happy Meal options available must meet its new nutritional guidelines. The company said some are adding new menu items to comply, like in Italy, where a grilled chicken sandwich was added to the Happy Meal menu.


What We Are Eating Today: Made Rustic

Updated 10 July 2020

What We Are Eating Today: Made Rustic

Made Rustic is a home-based Saudi business specializing in healthy snacks — both sweet and savory — that are free from artificial colors, additives and refined sugar.
Made Rustic offers a variety of artisanal dips, spreads, and crackers, as well as a range of flatbreads seasoned with traditional Middle Eastern combinations of herbs and spices, such as zaatar and sumac. Other toppings include rosemary, parmesan, kalamata olives, chili flakes, spicy cheddar, lemon and lavender.
Their signature product is the charcuterie board — or cheese and meat board — topped with an array of snacks, including crackers, breads, cheeses, seasonal fruit and veggies, meats, nuts, dips, and spreads.
The charcuterie board, with its attractive presentation and variety of options, is a sophisticated way to serve light morsels, whether at in-home parties or office gatherings.
Made Rustic’s platters are sure to make a good impression. They are customizable based on dietary needs; there is even a vegan option.
Made Rustic’s grazing platters come in two sizes: A medium platter for small gatherings of eight to 12 people and a large platter for more than 15 people.
A vegan customized grazing platter of your choice is also available. Prices range from SR25 ($7) to SR100. Products are available through @crate.ksa and @lugmety.