One of my little tricks when I want food with little nutritional merit is to order a very small portion. The kid’s size is often perfect. I have been doing this at McDonald’s for ages, but since I hardly ever eat McDonald’s, I wasn’t aware of what has happened to the Happy Meal.
I know they were offering fruit as a “choice” of sides for a while, but now they just automatically give you (gross, processed) apple slices and the teeniest, most adorable portion of french fries in THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD.
It’s almost perfect, because that is just the right amount of fries for me to satisfy my taste for them without really filling up on something so nutritionally bankrupt. Apparently you can’t get a diet Coke with your Happy Meal anymore, but the chocolate milk was a nice treat.
Today, as a bonus, I was able to give my lion toy to a harried dad whose kid already had the penguin, and the little boy thanked me before we left, which was very nice.
But mostly, I couldn’t stop giggling at my Cabbage Patch Kid-sized fries.
Fast food places are doing such a good job upping the nutritional value of their kids’ meals lately. Adults should take a page from that book. You don’t have to order a meal that comes with a toy, but consider a side salad, or ordering a smaller sandwich that you supplement with a piece of your own fruit. (I also think it is really just fine to do a standard burger and fries meal once in a while if your overall diet that day includes lots of plants, and you don’t do it very often.)