By Rebecca Zamer/Joe Cingrana
After 40 years of serving their iconic “Happy Meals,” fast food chain McDonald’s is saying goodbye to cheeseburgers and chocolate milk from their kid-friendly menu.
The change comes with an effort to cut down on the calories, sodium, saturated fat, and sugar content that is consumed by children in the restaurant. Visitors can still request cheeseburgers and chocolate milk but the company believes by not listing it on their menu they will reduce how often the items are ordered. Hamburgers and chicken nuggets will continue to be the default menu options.
Since removing soda from the “Happy Meal” menu four years ago, orders for it have fallen 14 percent. Over the years, McDonald’s has also revised their children’s meal to add fruit, scaled back french fry sizes, and have even swapped juice choices for ones with less sugar content.
The new menu will take effect this summer in locations across the United States and McDonald’s Corporation recently announced plans to push the initiative globally “to make an even bigger difference for families through new Global Happy Meal Goals.”
“By 2022, McDonald’s restaurants will add new Happy Meal offerings, reformulate or remove offerings from the Happy Meal section of the menu board to meet these goals. We’re announcing a host of improvements later this year to Happy Meal menus in the U.S. — like adding bottled water, cutting the calories and sodium with smaller fries in the 6 piece Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal, and working to reduce the added sugars in chocolate milk. In addition, just last month McDonald’s Italy introduced a sandwich with lean protein (grilled chicken); McDonald’s Australia is currently exploring new vegetable and lean protein options; and McDonald’s France is looking at new vegetable offerings.”