McDonald’s Mondays: Let’s Play Pretend

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Earlier this month, the blog Woody Asks posed an interesting hypothetical: what would you do if McDonald’s changed their value menu to be 100% healthy?

No more double cheeseburgers. No more fries. No more small sodas or Junior Chickens. Just healthy foods.

McDonald’s has already been adding healthy choices to their menu for a few years now. The Fruit’n’Yogurt Parfait, apple slices, salads, grilled chicken sandwiches and wraps — the Canadian McMenu features a good selection of healthy items for those with a strong enough will to dodge the Quarter Pounder. Would replacing the Value Picks Menu with a $1.39 Healthy Picks Menu help consumers make better choices? And what would you want to see on the menu?

19 responses to “McDonald’s Mondays: Let’s Play Pretend”

  1. Melissa says:

    I would like to see more vegeatraian options. Would it be so hard to offer a salad without meat ?

  2. Glen says:


  3. Shawn says:

    I don’t think so. If you want to eat healthily, you shouldn’t go to McDonald’s, I always figured. 🙂 There are lots of places to eat healthy.

    I go to McDonald’s to get a fix for my grease addiction about once or twice a year. I would be very sad if they turned all healthy.

  4. Chrissy says:

    Most of the items on the healthy menu equal up to the calorie count of a regular combo that comes with fries.. sure they offer apple slices in happy meals, but i bet 8/10 children dont want apple slices at a fast food restaurant. I like the side salad which is healthy, but the salad dressing has a lot of calories which defeats the purpose of eating healthy, and no one just wants to eat lettuce… oh and btw, all the lettuce used in salads is prepacked and air sealed. so its not fresh.

  5. G says:

    The apple slices sort of crack me up… they give you CARAMEL to dip them in. “Apples aren’t good on their own, children… dip them in SUGAR.” I was in Mcdonald’s the other day, ordering a coffee (the line at Tim’s was ridiculous), and I saw a family with little kids, (like, ages 4-8), and they were ordering REGULAR meals… with regular sodas with caffeine. Is that common? How can a 4 year old child eat a big mac and fries and full sized drink?! Anyways, are THAT many people ordering the healthy choices at McDonald’s? I’d love the stats on that- It isn’t where I go when I am in the mood for a salad.
    (And, Chrissy- to bypass the salad dressing, my MIL puts salsa on their salads… SHE says it tastes good:)

  6. night_star says:

    Just be careful guys with their “healthy” options. In the articles I’ve been reading from the “Eat This Not That” some of the burgers are HEALTHIER than the salades oddly enough

    And I just read that the Quiznos Tuna melt sandwich has a whopping 2,000+ calories and 175 grams of fat!!

    “A chicken Caesar salad with dressing and croutons contains 425 calories and 21.4g of fat, compared with 253 calories and 7.7g of fat in a standard hamburger. Add a portion of fries to your burger and the calorie count climbs to 459, but is still less fatty than the salad at 16.7g.”

  7. john says:

    I know Burger King, harvey’s and A& W offer veggie burgers but McDo has nothing .

  8. Annie says:

    I have 3 kids. They have 5, 4 and 1 years old. When we go to McDo, I take the double cheese for them, cheese burger for me and we share a medium fries. I also always bring of vegetables and they really like fruits and veggies. No fizzy drinks for them.
    It is possible to eat “healthily” in a fast-food. But is always well to improve.

  9. drpepperslurpee says:

    It wouldn’t make a difference to me – I can’t remember the last time we ate at McDonald’s.

    Now, the fast food at Costco is a different story…..I get sucked in there quite a bit….

  10. yuyu says:

    as long as it is TASTY. and when i say TASTY, i mean SALTY. So no, it is not feasible.

  11. vibrantflame says:

    I think it is good to have healthier options, but I don’t think most people are going to go to McDonald’s with the intention of eating healthy. The only time I pick something healthy from there is if I’m hungry and McDonald’s is the closest and cheapest option. But like others have mentioned, not everything that appears to be healthy is.

    I think they should focus on having even healthier choices for children on their menu. I know it is hypocritical of me, but I will often order something junky for myself, and try to order something healthy for my son. He usually gets apple slices (without the dip), the kid’s burger and apple juice. But I’d love to see even more options….maybe veggies with dip? Sweet potato fries? Heck I might even order those for myself instead of regular fries!

  12. c10a7 says:

    I go to McD about six times a year to eat junk. The rest of the time we eat very good. If McD would go all healthy, we would have to fing somewhere else to get our junk fix…

  13. Candy says:

    I would be heartbroken if McDonalds turned healthy! We don’t go to McDonalds very much because it’s unhealthy, however when we do eat there, I fully expect it to be fattening and salty! It’s a treat.

  14. Butt3rCooki3 says:

    huh, it seems everyones pretty negative towards the healthy options at McDs. I personally would love cheaper, healthy options, even if its just relatively more healthier.
    I love their chicken snack wrap, grilled of course not crispy, and sure the spicy dressing adds some calories but it definitely beats a jr. chicken.

    Most of the time when I grab McDs, its due to the $2 in my pocket and 5 minutes I have to not starve. Im in downtown toronto so McDs are classically the most convenient, especially since healthy fast food places like Lettuce or Cultures are pretty darn expensive.

    i second the suggestion for veggies with dip, or a veggie burger would be great too. McTofu time?

    I always choose their side salad option if im craving fatty sandwiches, I’ll get a mcChicken with extra (free) tomatoes, and side salad with balsalmic or light italian or whatever light dressing they have (i’l only use about 1/3 of a packet though), and ask for apple juice substitute or even just a bottle of water.

    I Love McDonalds. 🙂

  15. Chrissy says:

    I used to work at mcdonalds, and yes they DID have a veggie burger, i loved it, it was delicious. but they took it off the menu because it wasnt popular enough, and it took longer to cook
    Since the veggie burger was actually non-cooked before they slapped it on the grill it took longer for it to cook, and they also has to wash the grill before cooking a veggie burger because they didnt want fat from real meat on the veggie burger.

  16. Abigail says:

    yeah i want to see is

  17. Pennywise says:

    I love the grilled chicken snack wrap with NO sauce. It’s not too bad on the health meter. (Too bad they discontinued the chipotle bbq)I cant remember the last time I had a quarter pounder:( My daughter always gets the apple slices with her grilled cheese happy meal too. I’d love to see more healthy options on the value menu but I AM happy with what they’ve got.

  18. cheapskate101 says:

    would just like to point out that the “HEALTHY” choices arnt even healthy. in the mcdonald there is a board with all the calorie info and it isnt very healthy.

  19. Rod Nemirsky says:

    The main reason McDonalds has lost so much market share is because they are trying to be everything to everybody. Leave the salads and wraps and low fat subs to the appropriate competitor. And maybe McDonalds could get back to serving me a Mac, Fries and a Coke in less than 20 minutes. Because they are so unfocused they have lost a large portion of their customer base from the 70’s and 80’s who loved the basic “fast food ” idea. Service in under 30 seconds? When was the last time that happened. Stop trying to make McDonalds into a salad shop you’ll go to once a month and leave them for the people who want a good, fast, greasy burger everyday!!


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