Food & Drink

McDonald’s taking cheeseburger off Happy Meal menu. Will it make a difference?

A Happy Meal featuring non-fat chocolate milk and a cheeseburger with fries, are arranged for a photo at a McDonald’s restaurant Wednesday in Brandon, Miss.
A Happy Meal featuring non-fat chocolate milk and a cheeseburger with fries, are arranged for a photo at a McDonald’s restaurant Wednesday in Brandon, Miss. AP

McDonald’s is making a change to its kids staple that might not make some people happy.

Starting in June, the cheeseburger will no longer be listed as an entree for the Happy Meal in an attempt to reduce calories, the company announced Thursday.

“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,” Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

The Happy Meal choices will now be a hamburger or Chicken McNuggets in four- or six-piece options. Cheeseburgers will only be served upon request.

Other changes are coming, including replacing the small fries to kids size in six-piece McNuggets meals and reducing the chocolate milk’s sugar content.

“Today’s announcement represents meaningful progress to impact kids’ calories, saturated fat, sodium and added sugar in Happy Meal bundles as offered on menu boards,” Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of Alliance for a Healthier Generation, said in the statement. “This sets a high bar, and we hope other industry leaders will follow suit.”

McDonald’s is aiming to keep calories in its Happy Meals at no more than 600 while also reducing half of the added sugars, up to 17 percent of sodium and 13 percent in saturated fat.

Trudy Munk, a mother of three in Lombard, Ill., told The Associated Press she wasn’t sure if the changes would make a difference.

“I just feel like if you are coming to McDonald’s, you’re not necessarily looking for the healthiest option,” she said. “I see it as a treat and I don’t mind getting my kids french fries or the cheeseburgers.”

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