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McDonald's Puts Books in Happy Meals

McDonald's to Replace Toys With Books in Happy Meals

McDonald's will put 20 million books into Happy Meals from Nov. 1 through Nov. 14 in an effort to educate kids, inspire good choices, and appease critics, USA Today reports. The book effort coincides with National Family Literacy Day, but some question the books' value — instead of featuring well-read favorites, McDonald's will be featuring its own animated animals.

"It's just a way to get their brand in front of kids in a very subversive way," says Jesse Bragg, spokesman for corporate watchdog group Corporate Accountability. He says the books, which talk about nutrition and healthy eating, also might confuse kids and lead them to believe that fast food is healthy for them. Critics have questioned the chain's motives and use of kid-targeted marketing for years. Do you think the books are a step in the right direction to improve Happy Meals?

Source: McDonald's
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Shirley3919134 Shirley3919134 3 years
Fast food is not the problem...the problem is parents who think that fast food belongs in the "food triangle", the basic daily food group. When fast food is used in moderation or as a treat occasionally there is nothing wrong with fast food. I applaud McD for putting books in their Happy Meals. Small children will get out of the message what YOU want them to, not what the writer wants them to (unless they can read it themselves of course).
Auroarah3919400 Auroarah3919400 3 years
We don't eat at Mcdonalds any more, but when my kids were younger and the food was good, and we did eat there, THIS would have been a great option! My daughter buys my grandson cereal with the books in the boxes. I wish there was a bigger selection. I may be bias since I am an author, but I think it is a much better choice than toys that will be tossed to the side, lost in the car or broken.
EmiliaKoiler1370721671 EmiliaKoiler1370721671 3 years
After seeing how McDonalds makes their food, we eat at either Culvers or Kopps living in WI. At Culvers, they have scoopie tokens and free scoop cards. Tokens get you prizes after 10 meals. Also, the boxes have farming trivia and helps the kids learn about tracing their food and showing them where theirs comes from! It's great.
Charlene14833354 Charlene14833354 3 years
Give McDonalds a break.. They are a junky fast food like any other im sure. At least they come up with healthy alternatives. It's up to people as individuals to make healthy choices for themselves too. And up to parents to make sure their kids don't od on the junk. They are having book for literacy week, great. They made there own book, cool. Are they targeting the kids to stay interested in eating there food, maybe. But what business doesnt target their audience. Seriously, this is what critics are spending there time concerning the public with?! Time is better sent else where I think. Maybe getting the word out that McDonalds cleans their cheep junky bacteria beef with ammonia is more important. I wonder how many other fast food places do the same. Gross
Grace4314172 Grace4314172 3 years
my kids think of mcdonalds as a treat. Which is a good thing since they are only 2.5 and 4. Maybe they are the oddballs but they actually play with the toys...and not just fora couple min but for 1 yr at least lol. A book in place of the toy is a great idea :) My kids love books anyways. and mcdonalds every once in a while is ok. Its just when people get to eatting it almost everyday thats an issue.
AnnetteDamron AnnetteDamron 3 years
How about offering apples OR fries. Everytime I ask for only apples they give both no matter if they even ask Me apples or fries!!! Pay more attention! This has happened at different Mc Donald's across Illinois.
VALMAcronau VALMAcronau 3 years
Awesome idea. My kids used to like the rulers, erasers, pencils etc that McDonalds had when they were little. I wish they would do it in Australia as well.
CourtneyDeckard CourtneyDeckard 3 years
My kids rarely eat at McDonalds mainly on road trips. My three boys have never cared for the toys. They might play with it for a moment but that's it. I think a book is great. For all those that want to complain well that's just ones opinion. If you don't like it don't go.
Iriena14688034 Iriena14688034 3 years
Well said Brandy E.
Hillary558 Hillary558 3 years
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a child having a Happy Meal once in awhile. We can't continue to take every fun thing away from our children. We have already taken away sweet treats and parties from public schools. No more playing ball. And now they have watchdog groups who want to take away the Happy Meal! What a very sad, boring world for our children to grow up in. By the way, I think the books are a great idea, but don't give up the specialty toys after a movie premier, ect. My kids loved these and even collected some.
Hillary558 Hillary558 3 years
JoannaBanks JoannaBanks 3 years
Chick fil a has been doing this for years with th eir own characters. I'm not a fan of mc donalds, but a book is better than a cheap toy on any day. Everyone self promotes, its a business after all. Sometimes it's unavoidable that we may go on a road trip amd there are things we stay away from, but everything in moderation, right? Why not make a fun book that tjey want to read. I lobe amy chance my child has to read.
BrandyElkins BrandyElkins 3 years
Everyone here can whine and say mcdonalds has the worst toys, or I my kid never eats at a mcdonalds but the bottom line regardless of how you feel about toys or books in a happy meal, what you as a parent let your child eat or not eat is up to you, not the government or some watch dog group. I am tired of others telling businesses how they have to do things as it should be about personal responsibility. You and I are the parents of our children, we know how active they are, what is good for them and how to say NO. So those who want to have the government take over and micromanage raising our kids now right down to what we feed them need to look up that definition on personal responsibility because it is not mcdonalds responsibility to nourish our children, it's ours as parents.
carrie72535 carrie72535 3 years
What kills me is that America is the only country in the world where the overweight people are the POOR and the upper middle class and wealthy are skinny! Ever wonder why? It's because poor people have less choice of what food they buy, the food that is cheap is the junk boxed meals! And please don't come at me with "it's the choices you make,you can eat 100%healthy if you want to" that's simply crap. I DO do my best to feed my children all good healthy food but I am POOR and there are times when I have to feed them Hamburger Helper because 2 boxes are 2$ & I can stretch a pound of cheap beef into those 2 boxes and that will feed my kids, husband and I for 5-6 bucks! Tell me the 'healthy' meal for that amount to feed 5? I am in school and we won't always be poor but we are now and being poor here=poor food choices! McDonald's is NOT an option in our house very often,but it wouldn't be if I was rich either. My point is this..until we change the big corporations who have turned our food into cheap garbage we as a nation will always be poor and overweight! And I completely agree that the best way to combat obesity is with exercise but we also need a better diet and its a damn shame that most Americans can't afford one!!
Debbie14957072 Debbie14957072 3 years
We are vegetarians, so the only time we go there is if there is a toy my 4 year old wants. She will eat the fries and apples then we give the nuggets to the dog lol.
Cari14957040 Cari14957040 3 years
My son is wild about books, no matter what kind they are (educational or otherwise). He just wants us to read to & with him literally all the time. He wouldn't be disappointed whether he got a toy or a book, because he manages to find enjoyment in everything. That said, McD's is a rare 'treat' for him, so it'll probably be quite a while before I see his reaction to the change.
melissadavis10231 melissadavis10231 3 years
Chick fil A gives out books and other toys and give the kids an option to trade them in for a ice cream so McDonalds changing the toys to a book doesn't really matter to me the toys we are cheap so I think a book probably would be better. also my daughter eat McDonalds all the time and she is healthy she has not gained any weight she's really active she does not sit around all day long doing nothing so she can have McDonalds in a chick-fil-a she can have Burger King it's what you do to gain weight to be unhealthy to do all that other stuff
terric37531 terric37531 3 years
book or cheap toy or the food that is in the meal is not the issue. The issue is how active your child is. My daughter is extremely active, so can easily have a happy meal as a treat a few times a month. She is not a couch potatoe and does not sit around playing video games. Those are the kids gaining weight. Not McDonalds fault. Definitely the parents fault and I am sure those same parents don't make good food choices when cooking at home. Not McDonalds or any other restaurants fault. The only way to keep weight off for anyone- child or adult - is by being active
Victoria14956880 Victoria14956880 3 years
We at least might keep the books I always chuck the crappy toys out. Blaming mcdonalds for obesity is just like saying if you go to a bar you must be an alcoholic. We go as a treat and we are all fit and healthy I really don't have a problem with mcdonalds everything in moderation! People are always going to get happy meals and I think books are way more valuable than plastic tat.
JennFreill JennFreill 3 years
20 million books sounds great! But on the other hand selling 20 million happy meals in 2 weeks is crazy!! That is a sickening thought!
Hazel14956853 Hazel14956853 3 years
I think that this is at least a step in the right direction. Some children come from families that are too poor to afford to buy them toys and the kid's meal toys provide them with something to play with- stimulates their imagination. I think the same would hold true for reading material. If a family cannot afford to purchase many books, at least these pamphlets will provide children with age-appropriate stimulus. I think the best idea would be to include mini books and toys to accompany them :)
LucianaSarmento LucianaSarmento 3 years
Really???? People are actually talking about books in Happy Meals? How about changing the meal into a "healthy meal"! My son has never been there and I hope he will never ever eat at McDonald's in his life time!
NancyBartlett NancyBartlett 3 years
Who cares what the books are if they hold a child's interest and try to read it. I agree with LisaCappon that they are downplaying something just because it isn't familiar. Don't we try to encourage kids to come up with new things and be creative? If you're against this...GET OVER YOURSELVES!
LisaCappon LisaCappon 3 years
So this article is saying that no one can purchase anything healthy at a fast food restaurant? What a bunch of propaganda! Why is the article downplaying reading just because it isn't a familiar story? Do authors not get paid to write NEW material all the time? Way to go, McDonald's! Thank you for providing a great alternative to the cheap throwaway toys. Keep up the good work!
Shenna87843 Shenna87843 3 years
Let's all blame McDonalds for Americas weight problem. Really people? Get with the program. Mcdonalds has the WORST toys that any fast food restaurant I go to have and at least they are trying to make an effort. Wendy's has toys that are educational & fun and chick-fil-a always gives out books. It's a step in the right direction & unfortunately they can't cater to everyone & everyone isn't going to b happy with any change they make. McDonald's diesnt really care if your kid has a food allergy, in the big picture kids with food allergies is a small percentage if their targeted population. Be a parent...YOU make the right don't like what mcdonalds serves, you are free to go to any number of restaurants or cook yourself.
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