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Are Happy Meals really a problem? Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver doesn’t think so...

By Michelle Edelbaum, August 10, 2010 - 4:42pm

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Michelle asks: Do you think Happy Meals are a problem? Share your opinion in the comments section below.

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I agree with all the comments that suggest GOOD PARENTING is the key to the problem not the Happy Meal. Moderation is also key. Allowing it as a treat works for our family. All of the other 200 times we hear the request the answer is NO. As a father of a 9, 7 and 4 year old I am responsible for making the intelligent and disciplined decisions of what to eat, exercise, academics, TV watching, video game playing, etc. But with all of the above said, I don't think a Happy Meal is terribly unhealthy if you order it with apples rather than fried and white milk rather than soda. The toy is a great motivator for getting the kids to eat their meal since they can't have it until their lunch is finished - especially the milk and apples. Plus, the toy is a nice value (I know the cost is included in the meal) since some of the kids favorite toys came from a Happy Meal. Our country has become too litigious and a great way to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions.

Anonymous

10/14/2010 - 2:39pm

I think people's choices and perception of those choices are the problem. We just don't want to admit that we know how to make better choices, or at one point in time we were taught how to make better choices. Example: My mother would sit down every Friday nite with the food ads, etc and plan all our meals for the next week--Sat thru the next Friday. When we went to the lake, she planned those meals, too. I don't know of anyone who does that anymore unless they're on a special diet.
When folks 1st started eating out, there were coupons, but the marketing to the different groups(like the toys for the kids) started another whole new attitude about food.
I sat down last nite w/2 friends and actually ate my 1st prepared supper w/dinnerware since I've moved into this apartment April 1. And when I was homesharing for awhile...there was only one or 2 families I lived with that actually ate their evening meals together. When was the last time you as a family, or you single person out there sat down and actually ate a balanced meal w/no TV or music blaring? When was the last time you sat down and ate a healthy balanced meal w/silverware and dishes, and not paper plates or plastic ware?
I know I'm bad about this, too. I have multiple illnesses, and I need to be at my correct weight for my height and bone structure, but I'm not.
And Romans 12: 1-2 says we should treat our bodies as God's Temple...but do we? We fad diet, we don't exercise, nor do we do anything in moderation.
I know this is getting a little long, but I think we need to make up and smell the roses folks! I know I've had several wake up calls due to health issues, and I know the biggest part of them is probably my weight.
But one of my favorite fast food meals is not the Happy Meal, but it's the McDoubles and the ease of drive thru so I don't have to figure out what I'm hungry for tonite. And something easy to eat in front of the TV. I'm still trying to learn how to "Menu Plan". I don't know too many single folks who do it, much less families.
If you do plan menus at your house, I'd like to know and get some tips from you how you're doing it. I'd also like to know how consistent you are if you're doing it.
Good Eating, America...and McDonald's!

godis1224@gmail.com

Anonymous

10/13/2010 - 12:00am

It makes me sad that we are coming to lawsuits over McDonald Happy Meals. I am dissappointed that anyone would support McDonalds being sued. A Happy Meal is not criminal if it is eaten occasionally. We go to McDonalds about three to four times a year and our kids do not whine to go more. Instead of trying to control everyone else and commericials on T.V. I wish parents would just limit TV time and apply some common sense. The problem is most parents do not want to model what they tell their kids to do so they blame outside forces (McDonalds) for their lack of self discipline and poor parenting.

Anonymous

10/10/2010 - 4:48pm

I heartily agree with Mr. Oliver. I am a firm believer in the "80/20" rule: eat healthy 80% of the time and indulge 20% of the time (or less!). Another point: In a fast food world of mega-sized everything, the Happy Meal is literally the lesser of many evils. I daresay if more adults would opt for the Happy Meal in lieu of the burger that ate Pittsburg (think portion control), they might not be so super-sized themselves!

Anonymous

10/08/2010 - 10:28am

Happy Meals are not a problem. Parents need to PARENT!! My goodness, if you can't say no to your children you have more problems than happy meals! Who is the adult in the household (or car)? It is not easy parenting but parents need to recognize children need boundaries. You do yourself a BIG favor by saying NO at 2 or 3 and following through with consequences. You will see what a difference it makes at 16!!

Anonymous

10/07/2010 - 12:35pm

Happy Meals are not a problem. Parents need to PARENT!! My goodness, if you can't say no to your children you have more problems than happy meals! Who is the adult in the household (or car)? It is not easy parenting but parents need to recognize children need boundaries. You do yourself a BIG favor by saying NO at 2 or 3 and following through with consequences. You will see what a difference it makes at 16!!

Anonymous

10/07/2010 - 12:30pm

My Mom (70+) eats happy meals. It is all she needs. If I was able to eat what was in a happy meal instead of the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese/fries/Medium coke. I wouldn't be obese. It is not the happy meals. It is not the toys. The one thing I hate about fast food restaurants is the supersizing of drinks. What was once a large 20 oz drink is now a medium at McD's, a small at Wendy's, Burger King and Taco Bell. We really are drinking our was to death with all the sugar. Drink size should be VOLUNTARILY standarized, 12oz small, 16 oz medium, 20oz large. That is all we need.

Anonymous

10/06/2010 - 9:23pm

Happy Meals being a problem is a rediculous idea. It is no one else's fault if our families are unfit other than the provider of the meals. It alone boils down to bad habits and choices. The people that are angry and trying to blame others are the ones commiting the crimes and need to get back on track with being parents.
Stay away from McDonald's if you don't want to eat their food, that is a choice, so just say no and start learning to cook again! We are the parents, right?

Anonymous

10/04/2010 - 3:22pm

Happy Meal wont exist if parents will not buy it! Let us demand for what we want to the market, we all want healthy foods and the right amount of serving portions. If happy meal is not healthy for your kids why buy it.. think think think!

Anonymous

10/04/2010 - 3:16pm

Happy Meals being a problem is a rediculous idea. It is no one else's fault if we have a fat family other than the provider of the meals. It alone boils down to bad habits and choices. Stay away from McDonald's if you don't want to eat their food, that is also a choice, so just say no. We are the parents, right?

Anonymous

10/04/2010 - 3:14pm

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