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I have never made a secret of the fact that this family are huge McDonald’s fans. Before kids we loved taking road trips and filling up on a Maccy’s drive-thru while on the road, and what better cure to a hangover is there than a McDonald’s Bacon and Egg McMuffin?
We are both firm believers of everything in moderation and once we had weaning well and truly established with Dex, we couldn’t wait to introduce a little Maccy’s treat for him once in a while.
McDonald’s has changed a lot since I was a child, when the only options on the Happy Meal were a hamburger or chicken nuggets with fries and a soft drink. These days there are lots of different options including crunchy carrots instead of fries and a range of healthy drinks such as water and milk. McDonald’s has also worked hard to make Happy Meals healthier over the past decade meaning there is now 21% less salt, 20% less sugar and 10% less saturated fat than there was in 2006.
Last weekend we were invited to McDonald’s in St. Paul’s in London to sample the latest addition to the Happy Meal menu: a grilled chicken wrap which launched on 27th June. Over the past year Mumsnet has been working with McDonald’s to revamp the Happy Meal menu and after a survey which questioned 1000 Mumsnetters it was established that 78% of them would like to see a grilled chicken wrap on the menu. 93% of Mumsnetters also said they’d like to be able to customise their children’s meals and, as we found out during our visit, this is now possible when ordering a grilled chicken wrap on the kiosk.
Another thing that has changed since I was a kid is that instead of having to go to the counter to order, there are now lots of kiosks available so you can quickly scroll through all of the options available and pay via contactless. McDonald’s now even offer table service which is an absolute god send if you are dining alone with your determined, strong willed, independent toddler who wants to wander off while you are trying to control him and navigate your way to the table with a tray.
When we arrived in St. Paul’s we were directed to the kiosk by a really helpful member of staff who quickly noticed I was pregnant and offered to carry the pram downstairs for me while my husband carried said wriggly and desperate to explore child. Dexter was really excited to look at the different options available for his wrap and was even happier than he could press the buttons to select what he wanted himself. Is there anything better for an independent toddler who is sick of Mummy and Daddy picking every single thing he does and eats?!
The wrap comes with a small tortilla, grilled chicken slices, lettuce and ketchup with tomato, onion, cucumber and pickle able to be added if you so wish. Dex was quite happy with ketchup, cucumber and a pickle.
We opted for table service while we looked for somewhere to sit; you simply pick up a table number from next to the kiosk, insert the number into the kiosk and after less than five minutes, your food arrives at your table, piping hot and without fuss.
As parents, we are so pleased with the changes McDonald’s are making to their Happy Meals. Although we have confidence in our parenting choices, it’s very easy to feel guilty in this social media age with some of the decisions we make, and this includes offering our children fast food. As I said, we very much believe in a little bit of everything in moderation, but it certainly makes us feel better that McDonald’s are doing everything to make their meals healthier and listening to what parents want. I know this new addition to the menu will become a firm favourite with Dexter and meanwhile I’ll be making the most of the increased healthier options for adults too, with menu items at 400 or 600 calories or fewer and the option of a side salad as opposed to fries.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post