Monday was my eldest daughter’s eighth birthday, so for a special treat, she got to pick her dinner. Golden Arches all the way, baby. Poor girl rarely gets Happy Meals, since her mean old mama doesn’t see a point to them.
Seriously, between the freaky food that won’t decompose and the cheap plastic toy that inevitably ends up smashed under my poor tender foot during a 2 a.m. bathroom run ... mama’s not a huge fan of Ronald’s.
But a girl only turns 8 once, and since I’m a firm believer in moderation, the birthday girl and her little sister got cardboard boxes of greasy deliciousness for dinner. They’ll probably get them again in six months, when little sis turns 4. Until then, they’ll be forced to do disgusting things like eat green stuff and drink milk.
Imagine my little girl’s disappointment when she opened her birthday dinner and pulled out the dinkiest container of fries on the planet, containing about 13 fried potato sticks of gloriousness. “Why are these so tiny?” she asked in disbelief. “Don’t they know it’s my birthday? Hey, there are apples in here too ... but they forgot the caramel sauce!”
Something in my brain triggered and I remembered a news story I’d read over the summer ... something about the Food Police invading McDonald’s. A quick trip on a Google search engine solved the mystery of the teeny fries: Apparently McDonald’s has done my family a favor by making the Happy Meal healthier.
It’s a Happy Meal, people. It’s never going to be healthy. They soak those burger patties in ammonia for crying out loud. Reducing the number of fries and tossing out the caramel (which, by the way, is the secret to getting kids to eat apple slices in the first place) isn’t going to change the fact that McDonald’s is junk food.
Junk food has a time and place, and a birthday dinner definitely qualifies. Thanks for nothing McDonald’s. Not only did you disappoint my daughter on her big day, you’re parading around as something you’re not: Healthy.
Next time we’re going to In-n-Out.
Image via Roving I/Flickr