Best & Worst

The Best & Worst Happy Meal at McDonald’s

The Happy Meal—for decades, McDonald’s has had a lock on the concept of kiddie fast food. A burger or nuggets, soda, fries, cookies and a little plastic toy: For years, the combo went unchanged.

The Best & Worst Happy Meal at McDonald’s
Best & Worst

The Best & Worst Happy Meal at McDonald’s

The Happy Meal—for decades, McDonald’s has had a lock on the concept of kiddie fast food. A burger or nuggets, soda, fries, cookies and a little plastic toy: For years, the combo went unchanged.

But recently McDonald’s tweaked the ‘Meal as part of a general drive to make the restaurant’s options healthier, nixing the cookies and replacing soda with milk and juice. So have those swaps made it a good option? Depends on your definition of good; the latest movie tie-in toy might not be the only surprise awaiting in that classic box.

Eat This!

Chicken McNuggets with 1% Low-fat Milk, Apple Slices and Kids Fries

Calories

420

Fat

20 g

Saturated Fat

4.5 g

Trans Fat

0 g

Sodium

550 mg

Carbs

43 g

Sugar

15 g

Protein

18 g

Not That!

Cheeseburger with Chocolate Milk, Go-Gurt and Kids Fries

Calories

590

Fat

17 g

Saturated Fat

7 g

Trans Fat

0.5 g

Sodium

910 mg

Carbs

80 g

Sugar

35 g

Protein

27 g

Today, the Happy Meal has four components, three of which are options: You get a main item (cheeseburger, hamburger, or Chicken McNuggets); a beverage (low-fat milk, chocolate milk or apple juice); a fruit item (apple slices or squeezable yogurt); and fries. Skip the juice and save your little one an unnecessary sugar rush, and don’t be tempted by the Go-Gurt. This portable yogurt is only a shadow of its healthy counterparts on supermarket shelves. In fact, it has more than twice the calories of the apple slices and a surprising dose of the sweet stuff. McNuggets keep the meal to a reasonable 420 calories but make it an occasional indulgence, lest the Hamburglar run off with your kids’ understanding of healthy eating.

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Image: Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock.com