In an effort to promote healthier eating, fast food giant McDonald’s is changing the face of their popular kiddie meals.
Starting this fall, the company will add sliced apples to every Happy Meal, while cutting down on the size of the french fry portions. The company’s Happy Meal change has garnered praise from first lady Michelle Obama, who has long been on a mission to end childhood obesity.
But is McDonald’s change really that big of a deal? A look at rival fast food chains show that they all offer apple slices or some sort of fruit cup.
The difference is that McDonald’s is no longer giving customers a choice. The apple slices will be included automatically, thus eliminating that nail-biter of a choice between fries or apple slices (don’t kids always pick the fries?)
Meanwhile, what are the other fast food chains doing to promote healthier eating? Here’s a look at some of their offerings:
Burger King announced plans to roll out a new kids menu that included fresh cut apples (served in a french fry container) and flame-broiled chicken tenders. But the apple “fries” (which are peeled apples slices and not fried) are still just an option at the chain.
In an effort to encourage the apple fries and milk over french fries and soda, BK employees will now ask customers if they would like apple fries or low-fat milk with their meal. The ball is then in the customer’s court.
Wendy’s has long touted that kids can choose what they want. In addition to the usual burger and fry fare, the company’s kids meals options include apple slices and milk that doesn’t have added growth hormones. Wendy’s also offers baked potatoes, salads and chicken wrap sandwiches, although not on its kids menu.
Sonic Drive-In may offer Coney hot dogs and chili cheese fries, but the kids meal options include apple slices and juice slushies.
Meanwhile, Subway has a Fresh fit menu that includes kid-sized turkey or veggie sandwiches along with — you guessed it — apple slices.
KFC may be the home for finger lickin’ good fried chicken, but you can also order sides like green beans and corn on the cob. The kids meals also offer a light string cheese snack option.
And Chick fil-A also gives kids options on their kids menu, with the main decision being a choice between waffle fries or a fruit cup.
Decisions, decisions. That seems to be the problem for consumers. Because the fruit option has always been there, even at McDonald’s.
Oh, one more thing about the McDonald’s Happy Meal change up: The apple slices will come without the old dipping standby, caramel dip.
Did that just ruin it for you?