McDonald’s to Add Apple Slices to Every Kids Meal

Starting this fall, McDonald’s fast food restaurants will include apple slices and low- or non-fat milk options in every “Happy Meal” served to children.  The trademark boxed meals will also contain smaller portions of French fries, the company announced Tuesday in a statement.  The new policy, a change from the current choice customers have between either apple slices or French fries, will reduce the total number of calories in the meals by 20 percent, the company said.

McDonald’s also announced other initiatives aimed to improving nutritional standards, including reducing its menu’s total sodium content by 15 percent by 2015, making nutritional information more clear and widely available, and promoting “nutrition and/or active lifestyle messages in 100 percent of its national kids’ communications, including merchandising, advertising, digital, and the Happy Meal packaging,” the statement said.

The Associated Press reports that critics of McDonald’s are already saying the new moves do not go far enough.

“McDonald’s is taking steps in the right direction,” Kelle Louaillier, executive director of a group called Corporate Accountability International (a group that has pushed for McDonald’s to retire Ronald McDonald) told the AP. “But we should be careful in heaping praise on corporations for simply reducing the scope of the problem they continue to create.”

(image via: http://www.mcdonalds.com/)

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  1. by Lauren

    On July 27, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Everyone should understand that MD is a fast food place and it’s not the healthiest option. At least they are trying to make things better. You can always ask them for no fries….or go home and make a salad. We go to fast food places for comfort food and convenience, if you want to be healthy – prepare your own food and portions.

    Why do we blame everyone else for our problems. If we want healthy children and families, we need to make healthier choices…not chow down on a super sized meal and blame society.

  2. by Chelsea

    On July 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I agree with the above statement! If u want your kids and YOU to be healthy skip the drive thru all together…. It is OK to be given the option to eat convenience foods sometimes, but u dont have to make it a daily or weekly habbit, and if u do that is your CHOICE this is America after all! :)

  3. by Amanda

    On July 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    While I like the idea of apple slices and fries being an option, I don’t like how the CAI is blaming McDonalds and other fast food for the problem of obesity in this country. If I don’t eat McD’s anymore, maybe I’ll go home and eat ice cream and potato chips. Are they going to outlaw them next? People need to be accountable for their own diets. Silly that as Americans we want the freedom of choice, but let all these “groups” dictate what we should do.

  4. by StaccyH

    On July 27, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Love the comments by Lauren and couldn’t agree more. For all the MD critics, it is your decision if you frequent the establishment. If you don’t like their offerings, then pick something else. The blame squarely falls on individuals, not MD. They aren’t force feeding you their food.

    I am thrilled they are making strides in making healthier options available. It’s what the marketplace is demanding right now so they have no choice if they want to keep up with the competition.

  5. by Christina

    On July 27, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I agree with Lauren about blaming others for our problems. Believe me, I loooooooove McD (and we can walk to one within 2 minutes) and wish I could eat it whenever I have the craving but I know the negative way it will effect me inside and out. I have to plan my grocery trips and meals ahead of time or else we will be at McDs all the time. When my 5 yr old asks me why we can’t eat there whenever we want, I simply say because it’s not healthy to. Eating at McD is a treat not an expectation. But the fact is that it’s my choice and responsibility to show him how to eat healthy and that while fastfood, candy, ice cream, etc. is a delicious part of life, it has to be eaten in moderation. McD by no means has the ability to force us to eat there. It’s a choice.

  6. by Lisa

    On July 27, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Thank you ladies!!! These crazy groups are trying to say McDonalds is at fault because they have toys with their meals. They’ve had toys in their Happy Meals forever, don’t take that away. Parents do not have to always take their kids there. McDonalds is trying to offer better OPTIONS…if you don’t like the options, then go home and eat!

  7. by Paula

    On July 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I agree with all the statements above…I think it’s great that McDonald’s offers healthy options for children and adults, but it’s not their job to make sure that we and our children eat healthy. It’s all about moderation, being active and making sure that we aren’t giving into our children every time Ronald McDonald comes on TV. We need to be accountable for our own choices and make sure that we are teaching our children to be accountable for their own choices. Teach them to eat healthy and get out and exercise, but also teach them that having a cheeseburger every once in a while doesn’t make you a bad person either!

  8. by Raven

    On July 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I agree with Lauren! I actually grew up a McKid…that’s the nickname everyone gave my sister and I because our mom was General Manager of McD’s….and we didn’t eat at McD’s all the time! I also worked for McD’s for 6yrs and was in Management Training when I left! Everyone blames McDonald’s, but Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and many others are just as bad or worse!! Also, it is the person that chooses to eat at fast food, and what they choose to order, to blame…not McD’s! So why do we keep blaming them for our choices? The stupid movie called “Super Size Me” was a joke…he said that is all he ate, everyday for a month! It made him sick, because he didn’t do normal stuff that everyone does…he drove from McDonald’s to McDonald’s sitting in his car and then going to hotel and sitting on his ass! Plus, he ordered the greasiest and most fatning food on the menu! It is the choices he made and the way he did it, that made him sick! It wasn’t McD’s fault, it was his own stupidity! You can go to the grocery store and get fatning food and cook it in tons of grease and sit on your ass everyday for a month…and you will get the same results or worse! America needs to start choosing to be healthy, and make those choices for theirselves. It just makes me sick when I hear parents complain that they can’t get their kid(s) to eat vegetables! Why blame it on the child? I started all four of my children on tons of veggies and fruits and healthy food…and I eat healthy most of the time so they will follow my example. They LOVE veggies and healthy foods! It’s just easier for people to blame corporations than look within their own lives! It’s time that we step up to the plate and show our future a better example! Don’t you think?

  9. by Rebecca W.

    On July 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    While I like the idea of the apples and milk being included, and think it’s a step in the right direction, it poses a problem for my family, and others out there. The milk will not be drunk and will end up being wasted because my daughter is allergic to cow’s milk. How about the option of juice OR milk?

  10. by PregnancyFans on FB

    On July 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    We agree w/the above comments too! It’s the parents responsibility NOT McDonalds BUT I do like the thought OF NOT having to choose between FRIES or APPLES now my sons will get APPLES too! Yay! ( And we only visit NO MORE then twice a month!) ♥ it’s okay for a snack now and then people. ;) )

  11. by Jacqueline Fonner

    On July 27, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    What will the food police dictate next? Remove the hamburger from the happy meal and put in a veggie burger? This crap is getting ridiculous.

  12. by Julie Sal

    On July 27, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    NOT COOL.. My daughter has an allergy to apples. She loves to eat them but they are not good for her little body. Now instead of just not chosing the stupid things I have to remember to tell them not to include them. I bet they won’t substitute anything in its place either. SO in essence no more happy meals for my girl b/c the cost is just too much. IT IS FAST FOOD as long as she doesn’t eat it every darn day she stays healthy. THIS WILL SOLVE NOTHING. the parents will just go somewhere else or pay more for a meal that is gives them more of what the kids will eat.

  13. by Theresa Trompke

    On July 27, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I don’t eat at McDonalds period. It is nasty and not good for anyone, period. It is a no brainer.

    speaking of parents, if there are any parents out there who are absolutely tired of missing your young ones and want to work from home without selling or touching any inventory and without paying an arm and a leg to start…then you totally got to check out http://www.mommyathome.awugreen.com to request free information. I am SOOOO glad I did.

  14. by Sarah B

    On July 27, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    I agree that McDonald’s is not to blame for obesity! I got McD’s every Sunday as a treat after church, and sometimes more often as I grew older. I was thin as a rail because my parents encourages exercise. If you want your kids to be healthy, don’t blame the corporations of fast food, think about ways you can help them be healthier, ban the tv not fast food, buy them a bike not a Wii. Kids need to be active and that is what societies problem is, not enough activity. So if your kids want Mcds, let them, but tell them they need to ride around the block 5 times after wards if they want the french fries… fast food is a treat, but exercise is the healthiest way to beat obesity.

  15. by lyndsay

    On July 28, 2011 at 3:12 am

    As an overweight person myself, I totally agree that it’s up to the patron not the establishment to make the right choice. I like the healthy option, but overall, they are not forcing me to buy it and consume the high calories. This goes back to the woman who wanted the toy in the happy meal removed. She actually said she was filing a lawsuit because her children wouldn’t stop whining and hounding her to buy them. Ok lady, who is the parent and who is the child? Be an adult and say NO! We seem to blame others for our weaknesses instead of taking control of them. If you don’t like the choices, don’t eat there! It’s really very simple.

  16. by Peggy

    On July 28, 2011 at 3:42 am

    This is ridiculous we as parents are responsible for what out children grandchildren eat noone else we mostly buy the happy meal for the toy which if you buy it seperate is $2.00 the apple slices that Mcdonalds serve are the best they are skin free come with carmel and my grandaughter always picks the apples over the fries but she dosent drink Milk so if they are not going to subsitute the milk for juice or something else then it would be better to pay the $2.00 for the toy and $1.29 for the 4 piece nugget.

  17. by Mary

    On July 28, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I agree that it is our responsibility to make good choices. I also believe that as a nation there need to be changes. All highly processed white bread should be abolished. Why do we not expect kids to eat veggies on their sandwich! As a child, my mother always put lettuce and such on my burgers and sandwiches. We never asked to have things removed from our orders. We ate it how it came. If you do not give your child mac N cheez and chick nuggets every day, that will not be their favorite meal. Start you child out right and give them lots of veggies and whole grains then they will eat right!

  18. by Stephanie

    On July 28, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    We get the Happy Meal and specifically ask for NO TOY, because I hate the nonsense things they hand out. So, the theory of Happy Meals leading to obesity because they come with toys is idiotic. I let my kids pick and more than half the time they pick apples. One of my kids even orders WATER to drink. How is it McD’s fault that people are lazy and get fat??

  19. by Melissa

    On August 1, 2011 at 11:33 am

    We hardly ever eat at fast food and when we do always ordered apples for my daughter. in fact she preferred them over fries. Then she got food poisoning from the prepackaged apples. We know because thats all she ate and was throwing up within 20 minutes and then it lasted a week. we even had to take her to the er. We tried to have it reported but the hospital didnt care and even threw the poisoned apples away.

    Since these are prepackaged its not a store specific problem and came from the processing plant that way. SO it could happen at any McDonalds and since it wasnt ever reported who knows how many other kids have had this happen.

    Now we dont ordered prepackaged apples from ANY where. even some regular restaurants give out the prepackaged apples now. Good thing my daughter realized not all apples are going to make her sick. We were worried shed never eat any again.

    Just a word to the wise be careful with prepackaged fruit. It still comes from a factory just like packaged meats that can get contaminated.

    Hand me a whole apple please so i can wash it myself and know its safe.

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