OAK BROOK, ILL. — Starting July 4, McDonald’s restaurants in the United States will offer reduced-fat yogurt as a side option in Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals.
Customers may order Go-Gurt Low-Fat Strawberry Yogurt or apple slices, or both together in place of a small order of french fries. The fast-food chain began including apple slices in addition to small fries in children’s meals in March 2012.
McDonald’s said it also plans to only promote milk, juice or water as beverage options for Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals on menu boards and in advertising beginning later this year.
The initiatives are part of a partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization founded by the American Heart Association and Clinton Foundation to reduce childhood obesity.
Last year, Taco Bell announced plans to drop children’s meals entirely, a move that was applauded by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (C.S.P.I.). The group said more than 90% of options at top chains fail to meet the restaurant industry’s nutrition standards for children’s meals.Offering a balanced menu with better-for-you options has become a priority for McDonald’s, which last year revealed plans to add the choice of a side salad, fruit or vegetables as a replacement for french fries in its value meals in 20 of the company’s largest markets by 2020.