McDonald’s announced Thursday that in an effort to make their Happy Meal menu healthier and offer better food choices to children, the fast food chain will be removing at least 50 per cent of menu items including cheeseburgers and chocolate milk.
By June 2018, the company has committed to making 100 per cent of the available Happy Meal combinations come to 600 calories or less with less than 10 per cent of those calories coming from saturated fat and 10 per cent from sugar. Most meal combos will also contain 650mg of sodium or less.
The revamped menu is part of the company’s partnership with Alliance for a Healthier Generation which works to make healthier options more readily available to consumers. Other aspects of McDonald’s plan include simplifying ingredients by removing artificial flavours, artificial colourings and artificial preservatives “where feasible” and using marketing to encourage consumers to purchase products that contain recommended food groups.
The cheeseburger and chocolate milk options will still be available in Happy Meals upon request, but they will not be featured on the menu (a pretty sneaky work-around, if you ask us). Some people are calling out the fast food chain for its weird and uncharacteristic attempt at rebranding itself as “healthy.” We should have expected this announcement not to sit well with the public.
mcdonalds is making the happy meal healthier by removing the food
— rockcock64 (@rockcock64) February 15, 2018
They’re going to remove chocolate milk from the happy meal option but still offer soft drinks? Because that is a healthier option?
— Lala (@pludulutch) February 15, 2018
Mostly, people were personally offended by the change. Don’t mess with McDonald’s customers’ Happy Meals. How could a restaurant be so out of touch with its own consumers?
what the BUNS WHY CANT I HAVE A CHEESEBURGER FOR MY HAPPY MEAL
— hyunjin! 🏹💘 (@diohyunjin) February 15, 2018
— Noah Tries Again (@noahfloods) February 15, 2018
Will @McDonalds Happy Meal now be called the “Meh Meal?”
— Angie E.Pennyfeather (@AngieNTheCity) February 15, 2018
I love you, McDonalds, but removing cheeseburgers from the Happy Meal is blasphemy.
— RiotGrl✨ (@ErinLea7) February 15, 2018
McDonalds just made the happy meal into an unhappy meal . first they take away the toys, now cheeseburgers …. really?😡😞
— traci gess (@keepsmilingon1) February 16, 2018
@McDonalds is turning the “Happy Meal” into the “Sad Meal”
seriously when I want to eat healthy I don’t go to McDonalds, I go there for junky fast food once in a while to have a change/break……..
— Sierra Sweet (@sweet_sierra4u) February 15, 2018
If you’re a lover of the cheeseburger or chocolate milk, you might be in luck as long as you stay north of the border. While the health announcement was for the McDonald’s worldwide brand, the specific menu item removals are specific to the United States right now. A McDonald’s Canada spokesperson told CBC Friday that the northern franchise has not decided yet if they will be removing the items or not. He added that in Canada, Happy Meals come with yogurt with the option of apple slices (you know, healthy stuff).