Consider the Source: Could McDonald's Be Good For Your Kids?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
McDonald's has launched a new kind of ad campaign, this time targeting moms . The idea is to promote some of the more positive aspects of foods like French fries and Egg McMuffins. Skeptical? I know I was……

McDonald's has recruited mothers to go behind the scenes of the company's operations, meet senior executives and then communicate what they see via the Web, along with appearing in video of their travels. It's called the Quality Correspondents Program, with the idea that if the company can show that they serve quality food and offer healthy options, more moms will be likely to opt for these foods for their families.

The company is trying to be very open with their food practices. For example, they took some volunteers to a slaughterhouse to demonstrate that their chickens are treated humanely, and that their chicken nuggets are made from real chicken. If they can prove that food safety and quality are a top priority, the thinking is that McDonald's can overcome the image that it's generally unhealthy to eat their food. They are also trying to highlight some of the hidden nutritional benefits of their foods. For example, one discussion touts the benefits of French fries. Although they are cooked in grease, potatoes are a good source of fiber and potassium. Are you convinced?

McDonald's is featuring the moms with diaries and video on its Web site. The idea is that if these moms (who want the best for their families, just like you) are convinced that this is quality food, maybe you'll change your mind, too.

Some of their other demonstrations include showing that salads are prepared fresh with bagged lettuce, Egg McMuffins are made with real eggs (although their scrambled eggs are made with liquid eggs) and a tour of the bun bakery where food safety standards are a number one priority.

I think this program is an interesting idea and a good way to help McDonald's improve their image. I'm sure some people will be convinced to rethink their negative attitude towards McDonald's. Personally, it doesn't change much for me. When choosing healthy foods for my family, I'll still take a baked sweet potato over French fries and grilled chicken over chicken nuggets any day.

What do you think?

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At McD, I order a hamburger or a single pattie cheeseburger, apple slices, and water as my prefered meal choice. Second choice is the nugget mini meal with apple slices instead of the fires. Third choice is the filet of fish with apple slices and water. Report
What about the "pink slime" they are/were using in their hamburger??? Google pink slime and check it out. Seems like a lot of places (restaurants, grocery stores, meat suppliers, etc.) use that in making up their ground meats. Report
If you are careful, you can eat a decent meal there such as the Grilled Chicken Snack Wrap with honey mustard and a side salad with balsmic vinegarette dressing & a diet Coke. A regular hamburg with the top bun removed will also work. But not much else and only a couple times a year do I go to McD's. Other comparable chains are offering more & better choices however it's so much better to eat home prepared food. I think if you are on vacation then go but if you love your kids why would you let them eat that crap? Report
They are liars and should have their license removed.. They have wrecked the health of the US and make people lazy.. Report
As a treat one in a in once every 2-3 months. I never grew up eating McDonalds or any other fast food. It's not healthy and I feel awful after eating it. I get tired and my stomach feels upset.

In Fort McMurray, the salad is never fresh, I have had the salad and it was full of water in the bottom..twice! They also never wear hair nets, and I see the managers handle money then go in the kitchen and make food with out washing their hands or putting on gloves.

So no...I'm turned off about everything. When you exercise and eat healthy everything else is better, I am more happy and active. I would never change that. Report
"...a good way to help McDonald's improve their image." ::shakes head in disbelief:: Am I the only one who saw Super Size Me? Am I the only one watching my tiny town in Texas teeming in the McDonald's parking lot in their oversized truck cabs, waddling to the door? The excuse about finances and age have nothing to do with is. The lettuce in my fridge is faster and easier for my (disabled) body to get to than having to drive to McDonalds. I make my food so I know what really goes into it. I WANT to live a long life. McDonalds isn't a part of that plan. There's articles on Sparkpeople that debunk the tales about fast food being less expensive than food from the grocery store. A-it's not. B-how much do you think that triple-bypass is going to run you? Just sayin'. Report
Frankly I think MacDonlads is a great place for many seniors and struggling young families. I eat there with no problems. Just because they are big business too many people slight them just like they do Walmart.
I grew up poor, honest, clean and educated as well as homeless, and I think if people want to be this critical, so ready to judge when you never step foot inside a MacDonalds or a wal-Mart. I feel sorry for you that is just avoiding the population divide. Those that have and can get by and those who are unemployed, not well off and need a place like MacDonalds where they can take their kids for some fun and decent meals at an affordable price if they choose wisely from the offerings.
Take your kids to the fancy high end places but in my opinion dont knock it unless you have HONESTLY tried it. Some of us were raised on hand outs and hand me downs but most of us are honest and hardworking and need to watch where we spend to keep the family fed and have some happy meals. Pat in Maine. Report
Could the so-called "food" from a morally bankrupt business ever be good for kids? Report
Short answer? Try No. Report
McDonalds is a business; not a public service. Just like any other business, they are going to do what they need to do to make money. Is your company bad just because it's trying to make a profit? I'm sure many Sparkpeople fans work for places that sell things that are not healthy. Nobody is forcing anyone to go to McDonalds. If you don't like it; don't go there. Simple as that. I applaud the management for allowing people inside their operation. Report
McDonalds is simply trying to spin to more health conscious people. They have to support a huge overhead, including all their ads and marketing ploys, and make profit. Where do you think the buck stops?

To use a comparison from project management: you can have food healthy, cheap, or fast. Choose any two. Report
I'd have to say their ad execs are way out there with this concept but regardless Moms are going to keep buying Mickey D's food for two reasons: first, their kids want it and let's face it, our brats are spoiled rotten; two, Mom wants out of the kitchen because she is inundated with the rest of her life. Report
i only eat fast food in an emergency.. havent done it in about 15 years.. i will take the grand kids for their happy meals and play time as a special treat to them as they love it right now and both of them can afford the calories.. (one grandson is 6 and weighs 38 pounds.. the other is 3 and weight 32 pounds.0
but i find it good to know the rumors that Mcdonalds uses kangaroo meat, and processed chicken is false.. Report
My family lives in Texas. It's already getting close to 100 each afternoon. My twin toddlers love to go out to play but it's just too hot for them (or me!) most days now. My compromise is that we go to McDonald's. They get a hamburger and the apple slices (that dip is awful stuff and gets tossed or refused right off) and water or milk. For me I really like the grilled southwest chicken salad. I just use about 1/2 the dressing and that's less than 400 calories paired with a diet soda or water. They have fun running around and climbing and I get a little relative peace. Report
Fast food is still fast food, I don't care how pretty you make it look. Their chicken Nuggets might be made from real chicken, but they are still deep fried. A rose by any other name........ Report
I'm glad that they are showing that they are concerned about food safety and that they use some quality ingredients. It won't mean that my family will eat fast food though- fast food (and most restaurant food) is too caloric, too salty and too over processed to make it into my healthy eating lifestyle. Even on trips we stop at grocery stores rather than eat at fast food restaurants. Report
...and I still don't need Trans Fats in my food. Report
I guess what they are trying to disprove is the ridiculous assertion that McDonalds is somehow evil or innately bad, or that there's some conspiracy to make us addicted to it. McDonalds gets a lot of bad press for things that just plain aren't true- the truth is you could make food just as bad for you in your own kitchen. Don't you have canola oil and a potato? Report
*head desk*

McDonald's is nasty. Period. My kids have not eaten there in 2 years (my youngest is almost 3, so she might have had fries when we went there last). I have no desire to even step foot into a McDonald's to see if they've changed, but since they're about profit I doubt they have.

If you think that McDonald's is a viable option then I implore you to watch "Super Size Me". Report
Even though there is some healthy choices I do not know of any child that goes to mcdonalds for apple dippers instead of fries. The snack wraps I suppose are healthy. Report
You can find healthy and very unhealthy choices anywhere. It's all about what you pick and moderation. Report
Why does McDonald's feels that it has to prove how good its food is? Mcdonald's food is McDonald's food. It has too much fat, sodium, white carbs and caloroies. Not enough firbre, fruit and vegs.You can fool some of the people all of the time! Report
The cons outweigh the pros as far as I'm concerned. There's still too much fat, sugar, and salt in fast food overall. It's still a large part of the obesity epidemic that's taking over North America. Also, their salads are significantly more expensive than some of their less healthy foods. That's not encouraging people to eat healthy! Report
I dont need a tour around their place to figure out healthy food for my daughter.

I have nothing against McDonalds and you can eat healthy there but it takes work. Whenever I have to eat fast you accept a few things.

1. you have to modify alot of choices.
2. you might end up with a wacky variety of foods.
3. going to be atleast a little bit higher than what you have at home
4. they might think you are weird :-)

Grilled Ranch SnackWrap (no sauce) = about 210 calories.
Side Salad (no dressing)= 20 calories
Fruit'n Yogurt Parfait (no granola)= 130 calories
Apple Dippers (no caramel)= 35 calories
Total= 395 calories.

Even if they mess up a few aspects and a few calories get added you still ate pretty good for fast food. But this is wiping out the menu for good healthy food that isn't high in fat, satfat, or sodium. There are other lower calorie foods but those sandwiches can get high sodium! Report
I think that it is still misleading when you can get a salad with grilled chicken that is cooked on the same grill as the hamburgers and add a salad dressing that is totally fattening with a diet coke that loads your body with artificial sweeteners. What about those croutons. I think they are trying to change their image but I would rather know who is cooking my food and how it is being done. Report
McDonald's is fast food.Period.They can try to sugarcoat,but now that's calories,too,isn't it? Report
If McDonald's wants me to reconsider they better start serving steamed broccoli, baked potatoes, and chicken that isn't covered in simple carbs and then fried in oil.
I don't care for fast food anymore and we used to eat it at least once a week.

When I was a kid (and I bet most of you too) we would eat "fast food" rarely, and when we did it was a special treat. In general, eating out has become a substitute for busy families.
We all know the realities of eating out, its just not that healthy in general. Period.
Fine for McDonalds, but I hope people don't get the idea that ANY fast food meal is as healthy as a balanced meal prepared at home. Report
McDonald's as health food? I think not. I personally don't think we should vilify one restaurant over another, fast food or otherwise - the whole system has been built around giving "the people" what "they want." And making money. It is what it is. Being a smart consumer is up to us.

I do, however, appreciate a business that's open about it's practices and nutritional information. I think that the change in the last year or so that has required all restaurants to share nutritional info has been an eye opener. Report
No restaurant food is particularly healthy, fast food or otherwise. They all use preservatives and sodium to preserve and enhance the taste of their food and offer insane portions. McDonald's is no better or worse than any other. I actually think the advertising campaign is a good thing because it draws attention to the fact that people can make smart choices from the menu and do not have to order the triple-sized burger with the extra large fries as a meal. I eat at McDonald's a couple times a month and just choose carefully by either selecting healthier options or sticking with the kiddie sized portions. I have always taken my daughter to McDonald's and she is now 20 years old and has never had a weight problem. But, I was always conscious of the size of what we ordered when we went there. Our usual meal was that we each had a cheeseburger and split a small fries and Diet Coke. Proper portion size and a really cheap meal! When I gained weight years later I can honestly say it was my choices that caused the weight gain. McDonald's had nothing to do with it. Their menu was the same as it had been when I was thinner! Report
No way!
They did the old bait and switch!
I am sure they did not visit the chemical refineries that produce all the preservatives, flavor enhancers, and stabilizers they add to that "humanly raised chicken" in their nuggets.
The food has very high fat contents, is fried, and contains way too many chemicals and additive fillers.
Gah! It is still fried. It's still fatty, greasy, high cholesterol, high sodium food. Sure the salads can be made more healthful with some omissions, and the fruit/yogurt parfaits are good for you, but most of the rest is still junk. Report
I eat at McDonalds - there ARE somewhat healthy choices available. And I just noticed the other day that the containers the food arrives in are printed with the nutritional information!

But French Fries are just about most unhealthy thing anybody could ever eat - if you want to break your FF addiction - just google on "acrylamide" (a carcinogen that's created when starchy foods are fried) Report
Are you kidding me?
Feeding your kids at McDonalds is child abuse! Report
Well, they're trying. And as long as people keep buying they're going to keep selling. I admit, just the thought of their fries still makes my mouth water. I allow myself to indulge once in a while, but compensate with extra fruit and water (not to mention, extra time in the gym working it off!). And I'm also getting the small or kiddie size instead of regular or large.

But seriously, if one is going to eat at McDonald's, why buy a salad when you can make one for free at home?

However, too many people these days are relying on such things. When I was a kid, eating out once or twice a month was a big deal and a reward for a good report card or something. These days it's a way of life instead of a home cooked meal around the table. But that's another discussion entirely. Report
Well, I think McDonalds is doing what it can to repair its image. Supersize Me and Fast Food Nation really took the company to task for its business practices.

So, I give them credit for making an effort. Of course, I could also accuse them of using the same tactics the HFCS syrup lobbyiests are using. Have you seen the pro-HFCS commercials ?

Goodness, talk about blatant lying to the public !

Regardless, if McDonalds is trying to make an effort to give patrons some healthier options, then let's give them credit for that.

while i believe McDs new ads are mainly a marketing ploy I don't mind taking the kids there occasionally. they do have some decent things on the menu, even for the end it's all about moderation Report
The answer to the original question on the top of this page is: Yes, if their parents are responsible. The scrambled eggs are made with pre-whipped eggs, real eggs though.
The fruit and yogurt parfaits are good, very little fat or sodium, only $1! The side salad, apples, fruit and walnut salads, the brewed tea, 2% millk. For a big treat once in awhile..
Water is good for me too, but not ten gallons at a sitting!! Another thing to remember, when you go to McDonalds, you can order your fries and your meat without salt!! You can get your burger without a bun, they will serve it in a side salad bowl on a bed of lettuce! Since you have your mouth open already to order and eat, just keep it open long enough to ask for the above things!!

There are no magnets to drag our vehicles towards these buildings. They cannot make me order something at gunpoint. Since we are changing our lifestyles, make this another one on the list! Consider these meals a treat, a little thing to be naughty once in awhile!!
"All things in moderation"! Something for me to work on...
I, too, am amazed at ppl bashing all these fast food places. Seriously, no one says you have to eat fast food everyday, 3 times a day, or eat an upsize meal.. or worse, an additional burger with the meal... It's moderation really. And yes, it's really not that "healthy" but unless you prepare every meal and never eat out, I'd say the same for most restaurants out there.. Their salads are usually drenched with dressing, unless you specifically ask it in a side bowl or something like that.. Their alfredo pasta can't be all that great with all that cream and what not..
I agree moderation is the key. No one says you can't eat a pizza, just don't eat the whole thing.. One won't kill you.. That way you don't crave for something and end up overeating when you get your hands on it... :) Report
I don't know why people get so personally offended at fast food. If you don't eat it - then that's fine - but there is no reason to bash other people's intelligence if they choose to.

McDonald's isn't doing anything illegal or immoral in their marketing. They're one of the few places that put the nutritional information on your burger wrapper and fries container - go to a "fancy" restaurant and see how much crap is put into your expensive dinner. I have been quite upset to discover how bad the food can be at nicer restarants too, and you have to go online to find that out.

Everything in moderation. IMHO refusing to let kids go somewhere ever is just as bad as using food as a reward. It sets them up to want to go there all the more. When they're older they'll end up not knowing how to moderate their intake because they're not prepared to battle all the constant junk food being thrown in their face. Kind of like teaching your kids to budget money at a young age - we need to educate them on how to budget their nutrition, if they want McD's for dinner they have to know how to alter their meals the rest of the day to make up for it - and not supersize...LOL! Report
personally, i loveee mcdonalds!

but i havent eaten it in 4 months! i havent really eaten any fast food because its so bad for me. but we ate mcdonalds growing up && our family was never obese. my parents made sure we were active, && i dont see anything wrong w/having chicken nuggets and fries every now and then.

i know i would feel terribly guilty about going to mcdonalds these days and it would make me feel like poop....but most fried foods do this to me.

i will take my kids to mcdonalds, it was one of my favorite places to eat while growing up if that sounds silly! haha Report
Genius campaign. Report
You know what? I like McDonalds. Moderation IS key.
I like the comment warning if you don't allow your kids to eat their now when they're on their own they may eat out there a lot more often.
A trip every now and then as a treat, while teaching your kids what is healthy and what is not, is a much better way to live.
A LOT of things we eat and splurge on from time to time can be fattening, but does that mean I have to live on lettuce and tofu?
Balance.. moderation.. all of that is the most important thing. Report
OK...I know I might be alone on this but we do eat at McD's. My kids love it and I noticed they are chosing salads, chicken wraps, chicken sandwiches...but they are eating fries and Big Mac too. My 3 children are not over weight to say the least but they won't be children forever and a treat is a treat. Report
They have been trying to give you healthier options at McDonald's but I do not consider their food healthy. I think the only thing there I will eat (if I want something "healthy") is their fruit and yogurt parfait. And I generally have that as a meal. My children are obsessed with McDonald's because they want the toys and to play on the play place. After I was able to drive by McDonald's and 2/3 of my kids would say "MCDONALD'S!" and then get depressed when we didn't stop I decided that McDonald's needed to start going away. I was not very happy. Report
I think a marketing campaign is a marketing campaign and am sure that the particular chicken handling site was set up .... not the first time a really outrageous organization has had shows of goodness to try to change well deserved bad reputation.

fyi - My kitchen is 100% healthy 97% of the time. I've been at it a long time. Report
Ok, I love Mc Donalds crispy chicken wraps. And my kids get a happy meal, maybe once every three months. We eat in, use the playground and make an outing of it. But I hate their deception. Here in NZ, they are taking a different track: trying to become heavily associated with sports to be considered healthy. Then you have a look at the nutrition info to try and find a healthy choice, and even most of the healthy dinner choices are awful! I'd rather have sushi (which is what I do now). I wish they would just be honest: Yes, we serve high calorie crap that is not good for you to eat regularly. Have a treat and we'll see you in a couple of months. Of course, bit corporations aren't like that. But I think it's especially horrible to try and get themselves associated with kids sports. Report
Alright, I didn't read everyones post...but I LOVE McDonalds. I love their yummy Egg McMuffin (I can eat 2 with a hashbrown like they are nothing). Craving Big Macs during my pregnancy freaked my husband out because I was a vegetarian before that. Shoot, one of my sons first words was McDonalds!!
Knowing this, I have to stay away form that wonderful place. Lets get real, we don't go there because it is wholesome- it is fast, good & cheap.
STAY WAY..It is a marketing ploy on an obese society! Report
I also want to mention if you do eat the food, stick with items like fries and nuggets. Those are the "safer" foods. Report
I will *never* associate McDonald's with healthy food. Saying french fries is good the kids is like feeding kids potato chips and ice cream for dinner. When I was little McDonald's was like a special thing I got when I was good or after a trip to the doctor. I would never feed it to my kids on a regular basis. And I agree with the other poster about sanitary conditions. I worked at one for two years and what I saw some do was enough to make me avoid fast food joints like the plague. Report
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