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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."