Mcdonald’s: I’ll Take A Toy – And The Facts – Over Fatty Foods

In the past, McDonald’s has been criticized by movies such as Super Size Me (worth watching – If you think what happens to Morgan Spurlock is bad, just think what is happening to your children.), McLibel and Fast Food Nation. McDonald’s has taken certain steps to clean up its menu and offer nutritional foods. In my opinion, compared to the other fast food restaurants, they offer the most nutritious options, such as the grilled wraps, yogurt, fruit snacks, reduced-fat ice cream and salads. Soon, I will be teaching a class to small children on how they can make the right food choices when it comes to fast food. I know you are saying to yourself, “Don’t eat there; eat at home. Have mom or dad make a nutritional meal.” But in this fast-paced life, this isn’t always possible. We are busy adults and children: Traveling, running errands, sports, work and school consume a lot of time.

To do some research before my class I took a trip to a local McDonald’s to order a fast meal for a child. I approached the counter and placed an order: one grilled chicken wrap no sauce, fruit and yogurt parfait, fruit and walnut snack and a milk. I asked that it be placed in a kid’s meal bag with a toy – let’s face it parents, it’s all about the toy. Total $4.88. I know what you are thinking a little pricey for a kid’s meal but where do you set the limits for good nutrition. Next time you are in McDonald’s ask for a nutrition guide see the fats, cholesterol, carbohydrates, and sodium your child is consuming.

Anyway back to my story, while I wait for my order, I remind the cashier several times to place my order in a Happy Meal bag with a toy. Then I’m informed that a toy will cost an extra $1.69. Mind you, the “standard” Happy Meal costs $2.49, which includes hamburger, French fries, soda, and of course, a toy! You can substitute the French fries for apple dippers. Does anyone else see this? The toy costs $1.69 and the complete Happy meal is only $2.49. They are charging more for the toy than the food: eighty cents for the food. Is this the value they place on their food? Is a plastic toy worth more?

Next time I feel like overloading my system with bad fats, too much sodium, and the wrong kind of carbohydrates, I will order a Happy Meal; they can keep the toy and credit me $1.69. I’ll see how that goes over! I did not win this battle today. The manager handed me an empty cup and told me to call the 800 number on the bottom….”How are we doing?” That made everything better. I knew when I got home and called the number things would not be better. The 800 number is only a call center so you can complain to the poor people that work there; they only take notes of your complaint and send it to who knows where? Better? NO!

Anyway, on my way out the door I saw the couple with a baby that had been ordering food in front of me with coupons that most of us receive in the mail. I walked over to them and handed the dad my six-dollar-and-fifty-seven-cent “happy meal” (toy included) and he really looked puzzled. I said, “Don’t feed the baby that stuff” and walked away. Was this any of my business what the baby eats? Probably not, but I felt a little better knowing he may be eating apple slices rather than French fries. If you think you would like to help me pursue this matter call McDonald’s “how are we doing?” 1-800-244-6227 number and let your voice be heard. Finally, a note to Karen, a really nice Martins store employee, sorry for the misinformation NO TOY! – maybe when your baby gets older… In addition, for more helpful and useful ideas and topics towards living a healthy life through proper nutrition and diet, you can visit It is one of the most helpful websites that you can find in the internet.


Adrian O'Connor is a passionate business writing coach and a creative copywriter. He is out there to make Business classes more interesting for all the students out there.