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McDonald's Rolls Out Healthier Happy Meals—And We're Lovin' It

The fast food joint is upgrading its kid-centric meals to highlight whole foods and better nutrition.

The Golden Arches seem to agree that when customers are healthier, they're happier. So, in an effort to appeal to more families and expand global growth, McDonald's just announced that by 2022, they'll revamp the popular Happy Meals to reflect transparent nutrition, simplified ingredients, and more balanced meals across 120 markets.

McDonald's new Global Happy Meal Nutrition Criteria states that at least half of the kid-centric meals offered must contain a maximum of 600 calories and 650 milligrams of sodium, with a limited 10 percent of calories coming from saturated fat and 10 percent coming from added sugars. In fact, expect to see all U.S.-offered Happy Meals compliant with the new calorie, saturated fat, and added sugar guidelines, while 78 percent of the meals will comply with the new sodium criteria by this summer.

Unfortunately for cheeseburger and chocolate milk lovers, the fat- and sugar-laden (respectively) favorites will no longer remain on the Happy Meal menu as soon as June 2018. But, there are plenty of other options your child can choose from at the drive-thru, such as a plain hamburger, four chicken McNuggets, or six chicken McNuggets with a kid-sized portion of French fries (instead of a small) as well as bottled water.

"With these planned menu updates, there will be average reductions of 20 percent in calories, 50 percent in added sugars, 13 percent in saturated fat and/or 17 percent in sodium, depending on the customer's specific meal selection," the company announced in a press release.

In order to achieve these healthier standards that highlight whole foods, McDonald's is testing out a grilled chicken sandwich in Italy as well as veggie-based and lean protein options in Australia and France. The brand is also hoping to debut a lower-sugar chocolate milk reformulation.

"Given our scale and reach, 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," McDonald's President and CEO Steve Easterbrook asserted in the release.

In the meantime, help your child make a better choice at the fast food joint by referring to our guide, Every Menu Item at McDonald's—Ranked.

April Benshosan
April is a born-and-raised Brooklynite who has a passion for all things health, wellness, and tastebud-related. Read more about April
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