McDonald's Happy Meals to offer healthier foods

In an effort to fight the obesity epidemic in the United States, McDonald's is making Happy Meals healthier.

How is it possible to make happy meals healthier? Compromise. The fast food giant will add a serving of fruit or vegetables and subtract from the portion of french fries.

The changes will take place in September in some markets and then roll out to all 14,000 McDonald's restaurants in the U.S. by April.

The first attempt in making Happy Meals healthier got fried. McDonald's cut fries entirely and children and parents weren't happy and rebelled.

"People come to McDonald's and, first of all, they want the choice and the control to be theirs, but their expectation of a Happy Meal does include a fry," Jan Fields, president of McDonald's USA tells the LA Times. "When we did it without fries, there was a huge disappointment factor."

"The new french fry holders in Happy Meals will contain 1.1 ounces of potatoes, down from 2.4. Apple slices will often be included as the healthful side dish, but it could also be carrots, raisins, pineapple slices or mandarin oranges, depending on the time of year and the region in which they're being served, Fields adds.

According to the chain, although subject to variation depending on what's ordered, the new meals will represent, on average, a 20 percent decrease in calories.

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