McDonald's will Make Healthier Happy Meals by 2022

McDonald's will Make Healthier Happy Meals by 2022

Calories in Happy Meals will be reduced by 20 percent, added sugars by 50 percent, saturated fat by 13 percent and/or sodium by 17 percent.

McDonald's said that it will also simplify Happy Meal ingredients by removing artificial flavors, added colors from artificial sources, and reducing artificial preservatives where feasible. According to the company, "for the first time, more than half of Happy Meals ordered in the US have included water, milk or juice as their beverage of choice. Several major restaurant chains have already removed sugary drinks from their kids' meal menus and we encourage others to do the same". McDonald's is testing the waters outside the U.S. The company said some are adding new menu items to comply, like in Italy, where a grilled chicken sandwich was added to the Happy Meal menu. And past year, McDonald's replaced Minute Maid apple juice with its lower-sugar Honest Kids brand juice.

"We hope these actions will bring more choices to consumers and uniquely benefit millions of families, which are important steps as we build a better McDonald's", Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook said in the statement.

A McDonald's Happy Meal. Instead, more than half of Happy Meals ordered now include water, milk, or juice. During this period, chocolate milk will no longer be listed on the Happy Meal menu, but will be available at a customer's request.

"It's a journey. It's a delicate balance".

"A lot of times, the options are available, but they're one choice out of many". The cheeseburger will only be available at customer request.

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"The U.S. will keep an eye on these", says Julia Braun, a registered dietitian and head of global nutrition at McDonald's. "Our efforts have led to big changes and real progress and as part of our continued food journey, we're committed to making it easier for families to choose balanced options that will make measurable differences".

Can McDonald's make parents happier to feed their kids Happy Meals? "'I tasted it. I enjoyed it, ' Braun says of the veggie burger in France".

As for plans to introduce a veggie burger in USA stores? "'It's got to have mass appeal'".

McDonald's stock closed at $159.99, down $2.41 or 1.48%, on Wednesday.

As part of its continued partnership with the non-profit Alliance for Healthier Generation, McDonald's also is working on plans to incorporate more healthy Happy Meal options for entrees as well as fruit and vegetable sides.