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All news / Cutting calories in Happy Meals

  • 21 Feb 2018, 09:58

Cheeseburgers and chocolate milk will no longer be offerings in Happy Meals at McDonald’s restaurants.The cuts are part of a move by McDonald’s Corp. to offer healthier options for children. By 2022, McDonald’s plans to offer more balanced meals, simplify ingredients, be more transparent with Happy Meal nutrition information and employ responsible marketing to children across 120 markets.

By the end of 2022, at least 50% of Happy Meals listed on menus in each market will meet McDonald’s new Global Happy Meal Nutrition Criteria of 600 or less calories, including 10% of calories from saturated fat, 10% from added sugar and 650 mg of sodium. Currently, 28% of Happy Meal combinations in 20 markets meet the new nutrition criteria, McDonald’s said.

To reach its nutrition goal, the company will add, reformulate or remove menu offerings from the Happy Meal section of the menu board. For example, McDonald’s Italy launched a new Junior Chicken sandwich, featuring grilled chicken.

McDonald’s restaurants in the US will see these Happy Meal changes this year. In June 2018, 100% of Happy Meal combinations will contain 600 calories or fewer and will be 100% compliant with the added sugar and saturated fat criteria and 78% compliant with the new sodium criteria.

As part of the nutrition overhaul, Happy Meal menus will list only three entree choices: hamburger, 4-piece Chicken McNuggets and 6-piece Chicken McNuggets. The cheeseburger will only be available at customer request. Additionally, the company will replace the small french fries with a smaller size in the 6-piece Chicken McNugget meal, decreasing the calories and sodium in the fries serving by half.