Tuesday, January 24, 2012

You're Not the Boss of Me

...so stop trying to act like you are.

When McDonald's stopped including Happy Meal toys in certain regions of California "for the children," my festering began. Childhood obesity is a problem; I get it.

My guess is that obese children are not obese because they eat the toys; they're obese because they eat too much fat-laden food. Too much fat-laden food that yes, is scandalously, affordably priced. So I surmise the obese children can only afford the cheaply priced fatty food on their allowance-limited budget; that is why they are overweight and unhealthy. Everytime I set foot in a McDonald's, the line in front of me consists entirely of children. The line at the drive-thru is comprised entirely of bicycles and BigWheels.

Grown-ups, for the love of God, BE GROWN-UPS.

Some fast food is fine; an all fast food diet is not. Tell your children, "No."

Want to know the deep, dark ugly secret no one is addressing? My guess is children are not asking for McDonald's Happy Meals as often as we're providing them voluntarily as parents. Fast food is EASY. THAT is the truth. A peanut butter sandwich and an apple are cheaper than a Happy Meal, but they take time.

Using corporately successful McDonald's as the scapegoat for our laziness as parents has bothered me for some time, but this weekend (and a dear friend's recent post) was my final straw on silence.

She-Twin has alays preferred the Apple Dippers in her Happy Meal. Now, McDonald's provides Apple Dippers with every Happy Meal. Excellent, was my first thought. But guess what? They also insist on giving a new, tiny reduced portion of fries along with the mandatory apples. We said we did not want the fries, and were told "they're included." (We still didn't want them....)

Guess what they WON'T give anymore? The caramel sauce. SHE-TWIN LOVED THE APPLE DIPPERS' CARAMEL SAUCE! She used about a half a container total on all her apples and her nuggets. THEY DO NOT OFFER THE CARAMEL ANYMORE! Why? Because "We are trying to be healthier." Healthier by forcing the fries (albeit a small pack) along with the apples (that we already wanted) and by omitting the tiny dollop of caramel (with its 66 whopping low-fat calories) that managed to get my protein averse She-Twin to enthusiastically down her nuggets.

McDonald's is way off the mark on this one by kowtowing to a vocal well-meaning, but misguided, parental population. Taking away the toys will help kids be healthier? SERIOUSLY? THAT will help parents say "No" to their children's requests for Happy Meals? Is there ANY parent who gets the used-to-be Happy Meals solely for the prize? I cannot even purchase at an extra cost the caramel for my daughter, but the window-stationed associate invariably wants to know which of the nugget sauces (by the way, when I think health, I think BBQ, honey mustard, sweet and sour, and the like...) my daughter wants for her chicken McNuggets? (She wants none of them...)

McDonald's should sell what people will buy. END OF STORY. If someone takes issue with the health factor---or lack of health factor---in this country, we should express displeasure with our wallets.

Please don't prevent me from buying an occasional treat meal complete with caramel sauce for my child because another parent cannot say "No," to theirs.

Tirade over. As you were.

Here's my peaceful, caramel-deprived daughter managing to relax with the Sunday paper after a less-than-fully-Happy Meal.

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Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

It's like they're run for monkeys over there. Ridiculous...

Did you see the warning put on the fries for pregnant women now? That's craziness!!

Terra said...

and to make matters worse my 6 year old gets that tiny box of fries in her happy meal and it has 5 french fries in it, count em 5 - Mcdonalds fries are good, they are a treat and while we don't eat their often we do enjoy them and purposely seek them out from time to time - so what do I have to do? Buy her a separate fry to go with her meal because it is NO treat to get 5 soggy fries...

Barbara Manatee said...

We are not happy with the change either. My kiddos always got the apples and the smaller bag of apples is not enough to satisfy their appetite some days (which I'd prefer not to fill the space with fries...).

We limit our fast food as much as possible and have made BIG changes in our diet this past year and we are trying to teach the kids about healthy choices, too.

* My Sarah also misses the caramel and the few times we've gone to McDs, she's asked me to see if maybe THIS "Old McDonalds" has the caramel sauce still...