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McDonald's Is Cutting Cheeseburgers From Happy Meal Menus to Make Them Healthier

McDonald's Is Cutting Cheeseburgers From Happy Meal Menus to Make Them Healthier



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Don’t fret — you will still be able to order the Happy Meal you love at McDonald’s. As part of a new health initiative set to take hold by 2022, McDonald’s has pledged to reduce the portion size of their French fries and expunge cheeseburgers from their Happy Meal menu.

By the end of the target year, McDonald’s commits that 50 percent of their Happy Meals worldwide will land below a 600-calorie cap, with less than 10 percent of calories coming from saturated fat, less than 10 percent from sugar, and under 650 milligrams of sodium. Americans can expect to see these changes in 100 percent of all Happy Meals by June 2018, with the exception of the sodium limit — 78 percent of Happy Meals are expected to comply with the 650 milligram maximum.

Cheeseburgers will still be available by special request, but will be omitted from the Happy Meal menu. Other changes include reducing the portion of fries served with a Happy Meal, reformulating the chocolate milk to contain less added sugar and removing it from the displayed menu, and adding bottled water as a beverage choice.

While the meals will be less caloric and fat-heavy, the prices of McDonald’s food will likely not change.

“We do not expect there to be any impact to prices,” Becca Hary, director of corporate communications at McDonald’s, told The Daily Meal. “Our customers are at the core of all that we do. We are never complacent and always listening to and learning from them every step of the way on our food journey.”

The company has long been under public fire for their not-so-nutritious options; McDonald’s is used to being the butt of jokes aimed at larger-bodied Americans and often receives public criticism for contributing to America’s poor nutrition. Now, they seem to be attempting to take their public image in a more health-conscious direction.

The worldwide fast-food chain announced that they plan to introduce new menu options for Happy Meals such as the Junior Chicken, a grilled chicken sandwich that has previously been piloted at McDonald’s Italy.

The American Heart Association released a statement applauding the initiative, stating, “Today, we applaud McDonald’s leadership in offering healthier kids’ meals that will considerably increase consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, water, and low-fat dairy for millions of families globally.”

According to the American Heart Association, “This is an important step in the right direction,” and could influence other fast food chains to make alterations to their menus accordingly.

This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has introduced more nutritious options. They piloted serving apple slices with Happy Meals, for example, and at one point even tried offering kale bowls. Those bowls didn’t exactly catch on, however — there are some failed McDonald’s menu items we’ll just never see again.


McDonald’s Is Taking Cheeseburgers Out Of The Happy Meal

This is part of a move to make McDonald's "healthier." What do you think?

McDonald’s is making Happy Meals healthier.

By 2022, cheeseburgers won’t be part of the menu for the kids’ meals, although parents can still ask for them.

The main choices will be hamburgers and four and six-piece Chicken McNuggets. And the French fry sizes will be smaller.

Bottled water will be added to Happy Meals later this year, and chocolate milk will come with less sugar.

McDonald’s also pledged to serve more fruits, vegetables and grains.

All Happy Meals in the United States will have 600 calories or less by June, and at least half of stores and drive-throughs around the world will meet that target by 2022.

McDonald’s says the calorie count in an average Happy Meal will come down 20 percent.

The company also said Thursday it will “reinforce responsible marketing to children,” in a statement.

The American Heart Association called the move an “important step in the right direction” and urged McDonald’s competitors to follow suit. The organization said 40 percent of young children eat fast food every day.

McDonald’s has been tinkering with Happy Meals for several years in response to pressure from public health groups, and to lawsuits for using toys to market to kids.

In 2011, McDonald’s added apple slices to Happy Meals. Soda came off the menu in 2013. And last year, McDonald’s replaced Minute Maid apple juice with its lower-sugar Honest Kids brand juice.

It’s also experimenting around the globe with new Happy Meal items. Last month, McDonald’s rolled out a grilled chicken sandwich in Italy, and locations in Australia and France are exploring vegetable and protein options.


McDonald’s Is Taking Cheeseburgers Out Of The Happy Meal

This is part of a move to make McDonald's "healthier." What do you think?

McDonald’s is making Happy Meals healthier.

By 2022, cheeseburgers won’t be part of the menu for the kids’ meals, although parents can still ask for them.

The main choices will be hamburgers and four and six-piece Chicken McNuggets. And the French fry sizes will be smaller.

Bottled water will be added to Happy Meals later this year, and chocolate milk will come with less sugar.

McDonald’s also pledged to serve more fruits, vegetables and grains.

All Happy Meals in the United States will have 600 calories or less by June, and at least half of stores and drive-throughs around the world will meet that target by 2022.

McDonald’s says the calorie count in an average Happy Meal will come down 20 percent.

The company also said Thursday it will “reinforce responsible marketing to children,” in a statement.

The American Heart Association called the move an “important step in the right direction” and urged McDonald’s competitors to follow suit. The organization said 40 percent of young children eat fast food every day.

McDonald’s has been tinkering with Happy Meals for several years in response to pressure from public health groups, and to lawsuits for using toys to market to kids.

In 2011, McDonald’s added apple slices to Happy Meals. Soda came off the menu in 2013. And last year, McDonald’s replaced Minute Maid apple juice with its lower-sugar Honest Kids brand juice.

It’s also experimenting around the globe with new Happy Meal items. Last month, McDonald’s rolled out a grilled chicken sandwich in Italy, and locations in Australia and France are exploring vegetable and protein options.


McDonald’s Is Taking Cheeseburgers Out Of The Happy Meal

This is part of a move to make McDonald's "healthier." What do you think?

McDonald’s is making Happy Meals healthier.

By 2022, cheeseburgers won’t be part of the menu for the kids’ meals, although parents can still ask for them.

The main choices will be hamburgers and four and six-piece Chicken McNuggets. And the French fry sizes will be smaller.

Bottled water will be added to Happy Meals later this year, and chocolate milk will come with less sugar.

McDonald’s also pledged to serve more fruits, vegetables and grains.

All Happy Meals in the United States will have 600 calories or less by June, and at least half of stores and drive-throughs around the world will meet that target by 2022.

McDonald’s says the calorie count in an average Happy Meal will come down 20 percent.

The company also said Thursday it will “reinforce responsible marketing to children,” in a statement.

The American Heart Association called the move an “important step in the right direction” and urged McDonald’s competitors to follow suit. The organization said 40 percent of young children eat fast food every day.

McDonald’s has been tinkering with Happy Meals for several years in response to pressure from public health groups, and to lawsuits for using toys to market to kids.

In 2011, McDonald’s added apple slices to Happy Meals. Soda came off the menu in 2013. And last year, McDonald’s replaced Minute Maid apple juice with its lower-sugar Honest Kids brand juice.

It’s also experimenting around the globe with new Happy Meal items. Last month, McDonald’s rolled out a grilled chicken sandwich in Italy, and locations in Australia and France are exploring vegetable and protein options.


McDonald’s Is Taking Cheeseburgers Out Of The Happy Meal

This is part of a move to make McDonald's "healthier." What do you think?

McDonald’s is making Happy Meals healthier.

By 2022, cheeseburgers won’t be part of the menu for the kids’ meals, although parents can still ask for them.

The main choices will be hamburgers and four and six-piece Chicken McNuggets. And the French fry sizes will be smaller.

Bottled water will be added to Happy Meals later this year, and chocolate milk will come with less sugar.

McDonald’s also pledged to serve more fruits, vegetables and grains.

All Happy Meals in the United States will have 600 calories or less by June, and at least half of stores and drive-throughs around the world will meet that target by 2022.

McDonald’s says the calorie count in an average Happy Meal will come down 20 percent.

The company also said Thursday it will “reinforce responsible marketing to children,” in a statement.

The American Heart Association called the move an “important step in the right direction” and urged McDonald’s competitors to follow suit. The organization said 40 percent of young children eat fast food every day.

McDonald’s has been tinkering with Happy Meals for several years in response to pressure from public health groups, and to lawsuits for using toys to market to kids.

In 2011, McDonald’s added apple slices to Happy Meals. Soda came off the menu in 2013. And last year, McDonald’s replaced Minute Maid apple juice with its lower-sugar Honest Kids brand juice.

It’s also experimenting around the globe with new Happy Meal items. Last month, McDonald’s rolled out a grilled chicken sandwich in Italy, and locations in Australia and France are exploring vegetable and protein options.


McDonald’s Is Taking Cheeseburgers Out Of The Happy Meal

This is part of a move to make McDonald's "healthier." What do you think?

McDonald’s is making Happy Meals healthier.

By 2022, cheeseburgers won’t be part of the menu for the kids’ meals, although parents can still ask for them.

The main choices will be hamburgers and four and six-piece Chicken McNuggets. And the French fry sizes will be smaller.

Bottled water will be added to Happy Meals later this year, and chocolate milk will come with less sugar.

McDonald’s also pledged to serve more fruits, vegetables and grains.

All Happy Meals in the United States will have 600 calories or less by June, and at least half of stores and drive-throughs around the world will meet that target by 2022.

McDonald’s says the calorie count in an average Happy Meal will come down 20 percent.

The company also said Thursday it will “reinforce responsible marketing to children,” in a statement.

The American Heart Association called the move an “important step in the right direction” and urged McDonald’s competitors to follow suit. The organization said 40 percent of young children eat fast food every day.

McDonald’s has been tinkering with Happy Meals for several years in response to pressure from public health groups, and to lawsuits for using toys to market to kids.

In 2011, McDonald’s added apple slices to Happy Meals. Soda came off the menu in 2013. And last year, McDonald’s replaced Minute Maid apple juice with its lower-sugar Honest Kids brand juice.

It’s also experimenting around the globe with new Happy Meal items. Last month, McDonald’s rolled out a grilled chicken sandwich in Italy, and locations in Australia and France are exploring vegetable and protein options.


McDonald’s Is Taking Cheeseburgers Out Of The Happy Meal

This is part of a move to make McDonald's "healthier." What do you think?

McDonald’s is making Happy Meals healthier.

By 2022, cheeseburgers won’t be part of the menu for the kids’ meals, although parents can still ask for them.

The main choices will be hamburgers and four and six-piece Chicken McNuggets. And the French fry sizes will be smaller.

Bottled water will be added to Happy Meals later this year, and chocolate milk will come with less sugar.

McDonald’s also pledged to serve more fruits, vegetables and grains.

All Happy Meals in the United States will have 600 calories or less by June, and at least half of stores and drive-throughs around the world will meet that target by 2022.

McDonald’s says the calorie count in an average Happy Meal will come down 20 percent.

The company also said Thursday it will “reinforce responsible marketing to children,” in a statement.

The American Heart Association called the move an “important step in the right direction” and urged McDonald’s competitors to follow suit. The organization said 40 percent of young children eat fast food every day.

McDonald’s has been tinkering with Happy Meals for several years in response to pressure from public health groups, and to lawsuits for using toys to market to kids.

In 2011, McDonald’s added apple slices to Happy Meals. Soda came off the menu in 2013. And last year, McDonald’s replaced Minute Maid apple juice with its lower-sugar Honest Kids brand juice.

It’s also experimenting around the globe with new Happy Meal items. Last month, McDonald’s rolled out a grilled chicken sandwich in Italy, and locations in Australia and France are exploring vegetable and protein options.


McDonald’s Is Taking Cheeseburgers Out Of The Happy Meal

This is part of a move to make McDonald's "healthier." What do you think?

McDonald’s is making Happy Meals healthier.

By 2022, cheeseburgers won’t be part of the menu for the kids’ meals, although parents can still ask for them.

The main choices will be hamburgers and four and six-piece Chicken McNuggets. And the French fry sizes will be smaller.

Bottled water will be added to Happy Meals later this year, and chocolate milk will come with less sugar.

McDonald’s also pledged to serve more fruits, vegetables and grains.

All Happy Meals in the United States will have 600 calories or less by June, and at least half of stores and drive-throughs around the world will meet that target by 2022.

McDonald’s says the calorie count in an average Happy Meal will come down 20 percent.

The company also said Thursday it will “reinforce responsible marketing to children,” in a statement.

The American Heart Association called the move an “important step in the right direction” and urged McDonald’s competitors to follow suit. The organization said 40 percent of young children eat fast food every day.

McDonald’s has been tinkering with Happy Meals for several years in response to pressure from public health groups, and to lawsuits for using toys to market to kids.

In 2011, McDonald’s added apple slices to Happy Meals. Soda came off the menu in 2013. And last year, McDonald’s replaced Minute Maid apple juice with its lower-sugar Honest Kids brand juice.

It’s also experimenting around the globe with new Happy Meal items. Last month, McDonald’s rolled out a grilled chicken sandwich in Italy, and locations in Australia and France are exploring vegetable and protein options.


McDonald’s Is Taking Cheeseburgers Out Of The Happy Meal

This is part of a move to make McDonald's "healthier." What do you think?

McDonald’s is making Happy Meals healthier.

By 2022, cheeseburgers won’t be part of the menu for the kids’ meals, although parents can still ask for them.

The main choices will be hamburgers and four and six-piece Chicken McNuggets. And the French fry sizes will be smaller.

Bottled water will be added to Happy Meals later this year, and chocolate milk will come with less sugar.

McDonald’s also pledged to serve more fruits, vegetables and grains.

All Happy Meals in the United States will have 600 calories or less by June, and at least half of stores and drive-throughs around the world will meet that target by 2022.

McDonald’s says the calorie count in an average Happy Meal will come down 20 percent.

The company also said Thursday it will “reinforce responsible marketing to children,” in a statement.

The American Heart Association called the move an “important step in the right direction” and urged McDonald’s competitors to follow suit. The organization said 40 percent of young children eat fast food every day.

McDonald’s has been tinkering with Happy Meals for several years in response to pressure from public health groups, and to lawsuits for using toys to market to kids.

In 2011, McDonald’s added apple slices to Happy Meals. Soda came off the menu in 2013. And last year, McDonald’s replaced Minute Maid apple juice with its lower-sugar Honest Kids brand juice.

It’s also experimenting around the globe with new Happy Meal items. Last month, McDonald’s rolled out a grilled chicken sandwich in Italy, and locations in Australia and France are exploring vegetable and protein options.


McDonald’s Is Taking Cheeseburgers Out Of The Happy Meal

This is part of a move to make McDonald's "healthier." What do you think?

McDonald’s is making Happy Meals healthier.

By 2022, cheeseburgers won’t be part of the menu for the kids’ meals, although parents can still ask for them.

The main choices will be hamburgers and four and six-piece Chicken McNuggets. And the French fry sizes will be smaller.

Bottled water will be added to Happy Meals later this year, and chocolate milk will come with less sugar.

McDonald’s also pledged to serve more fruits, vegetables and grains.

All Happy Meals in the United States will have 600 calories or less by June, and at least half of stores and drive-throughs around the world will meet that target by 2022.

McDonald’s says the calorie count in an average Happy Meal will come down 20 percent.

The company also said Thursday it will “reinforce responsible marketing to children,” in a statement.

The American Heart Association called the move an “important step in the right direction” and urged McDonald’s competitors to follow suit. The organization said 40 percent of young children eat fast food every day.

McDonald’s has been tinkering with Happy Meals for several years in response to pressure from public health groups, and to lawsuits for using toys to market to kids.

In 2011, McDonald’s added apple slices to Happy Meals. Soda came off the menu in 2013. And last year, McDonald’s replaced Minute Maid apple juice with its lower-sugar Honest Kids brand juice.

It’s also experimenting around the globe with new Happy Meal items. Last month, McDonald’s rolled out a grilled chicken sandwich in Italy, and locations in Australia and France are exploring vegetable and protein options.


McDonald’s Is Taking Cheeseburgers Out Of The Happy Meal

This is part of a move to make McDonald's "healthier." What do you think?

McDonald’s is making Happy Meals healthier.

By 2022, cheeseburgers won’t be part of the menu for the kids’ meals, although parents can still ask for them.

The main choices will be hamburgers and four and six-piece Chicken McNuggets. And the French fry sizes will be smaller.

Bottled water will be added to Happy Meals later this year, and chocolate milk will come with less sugar.

McDonald’s also pledged to serve more fruits, vegetables and grains.

All Happy Meals in the United States will have 600 calories or less by June, and at least half of stores and drive-throughs around the world will meet that target by 2022.

McDonald’s says the calorie count in an average Happy Meal will come down 20 percent.

The company also said Thursday it will “reinforce responsible marketing to children,” in a statement.

The American Heart Association called the move an “important step in the right direction” and urged McDonald’s competitors to follow suit. The organization said 40 percent of young children eat fast food every day.

McDonald’s has been tinkering with Happy Meals for several years in response to pressure from public health groups, and to lawsuits for using toys to market to kids.

In 2011, McDonald’s added apple slices to Happy Meals. Soda came off the menu in 2013. And last year, McDonald’s replaced Minute Maid apple juice with its lower-sugar Honest Kids brand juice.

It’s also experimenting around the globe with new Happy Meal items. Last month, McDonald’s rolled out a grilled chicken sandwich in Italy, and locations in Australia and France are exploring vegetable and protein options.