Sunday, November 27, 2011

McDonald's Fail

News Flash: If I am eating at McDonald's, it's not because I crave nutrition. I appreciate having options like salads, and occasionally that is what I will choose. In general, though: I am eating at McDonald's because I want something fast and cheap that will fill me up. I don't have a huge appetite, so a Happy Meal - burger and fries - USED TO be enough. Until today, when we stopped at the one at Walmart before doing some quick grocery shopping.

C., S. and I got Happy Meals, and discovered the french fries have been somewhat downsized:

There were all of, like, four french fries in there. That may be a slight exaggeration, but only a slight one. It is accompanied by a packet of four tasteless looks-like-apple slices. No dipping sauce, no cookies. It seems McDonald's is going to force healthy choices on our kids by giving them choking hazards that make them associate fruit with styrofoam. Needless to say, this did not fill me up. It didn't even fill C. up, and he is a notoriously light eater. He polished everything off and asked plaintively, "Is there more food?" Poor kid! (Don't worry, this isn't a Dickens novel, we got him more.)

I did check, and you can request a 'regular' Happy Meal - if you know to do so. I'm just glad we hadn't gone through a drive thru and been stuck with the diet special.  Apparently, this started in July, and it has just now trickled into NM. McD's did it to appease what they say was parental pressure (i.e. the parent currently in the White House) to make the meals healthier.

Guess what, people? If your kid is fat, it isn't McDonald's fault. My kids eat there occasionally, and are quite healthy and active. They are that way because of choices I help them make, or that I make for them. Get who is making the choices there? Me, not the government, not the company execs wanting a PR stunt. Eating at a fast food place sometimes does not make you a bad parent. Letting your kids have junk food sometimes does not make you a bad parent. Letting them watch TV, get dirty, play with bugs, etc., do not make you a bad parent. Expecting someone else to make those decisions for you? Yep, that would do it.

Yes, I know, I can choose to go elsewhere, choose to double the fries, buy them an adult meal, whatever. And I will probably do all of those things. The point is, we already had the choice of apples vs. fries, and apparently somebody somewhere decided we weren't making the right choice. Does that worry or at least annoy anybody besides me?

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