Last week, our preschool had a raffle and table sale going on. 

One of the tables was a local rep from a company called Juice Plus.  They promote healthy eating with their product.  But what lured me over to to the table was the display you see in the image here. 

It’s a Kid’s Happy Meal from McDonald’s.  Looks pretty normal, right? 

The crazy thing about this Happy Meal is that it’s 4 years old.  That’s right.  It hasn’t rotted, decomposed with time or really changed it’s appearance at all that time.

Needless to say, it was shocking.  I’m making a vow to try and eat healthier with the kids.  But I need help, people.  When we’re out on the road – what are our healthy options?  Wawa?  Chick-Fil-A?  What do you guys feed your kids when you’re in a hurry and need to pull in somewhere quickly?

Because cool toys and convenience or not, I don’t know that I can continue to feed my kids something that’s going to be dug out out of the ruin by future archaeologists in its original state.


  1. I already avoid McD’s and fast food as much as possible, but give in every now and again. But every year when Kelly (Juice Plus) brings the food I go through this period of being grossed out. When I left the event on Wednesday I had planned to run anywhere to get something to eat, but just couldn’t do it. of course, I had 2 sleepers in the car, so I couldn’t run in Wawa (my usual fast stop) and didn’t have the time to go home and create a healthy lunch. Then I remembered that Starbucks Drive Through has fresh sandwiches. And it was so YUM! They also have parfaits which the kids adore and are totally healthy. If Subway or Wawa had drive throughs I’d pull in there, too.

  2. We do Chick Fil A kids meals with the side of fruit instead of fries as an occasional quick meal on the go. But, as my 5 y.o. daughter pointed out just last week, NONE of the fruit is seasonal so you know it has been shipped from waaaaay far away. Subway chocolate milk has high fructose corn syrup and eight gazillion sugar grams. Panera Bread has healthy-ish kids meal choices (for ex., side is Stonyfield organic squeezy yogurt) but it’s not a drive through. I think my mom had it right when she packed sandwiches for road trips, though her main motivation was budgetary constraints, not health.

  3. We do the drive through at Panera bread. If we have a mintue, we eat there. My boy loves sandwiches and soup – and I’m SO thankful.

  4. Catherine says

    As a working mom, I am always trying to find things to eat that are faster and healthier… There is a great website by Catherine McCord called
    She creates meals for babies, for kids and many that work for the whole family. You’d be surprised what you find in the ingredients when you really dig into those parfaits as Sbux and a few other faster food place that seem healthy at first glance.

  5. Jamie Bird says

    OK- that is disgusting. One more reason to skip McDs. They have such brilliant marketing, though, my kids love it! Grrrr.

    Honestly, that is really disturbing.

  6. We haven’t had fast food in 6 years. We stop in at the local grocery store (usually organic) and pick up some food. Usually a sandwhich and a couple pieces of fruit. I also carry the kids water botles and some fruit leather with us everywhere.

  7. Not that we go to McDonald’s all that often, but you CAN get a pretty healthy option there in a pinch (at minimum as healthy as Chik-filA if that’s what you consider healthy). They offer apple slices, 100% juice or milk and a McDonald’s hamburger is all beef with no frying “magic” involved that wouldn’t happen at home if you made a hamburger.

    Do we really think that McDonald’s is using some kind of non-food ingredients that other fast food chains aren’t? Anymore, most food establishments OFFER healthy options, most of us just don’t choose them.

  8. We don’t eat fast food often, but when we’re on the road, we usually go for Chik-Fil-A, mostly because my son loves their fruit cup best. Luckily all the chains seem to have fruit options these days along with milk. Another one I use in a pinch is Target’s organic kids meal – mac n cheese, squeeze yogurt, and milk. Not fully nutritionally balanced maybe, but it’s a rare treat for him and not totally full of junk.

  9. I take my kids to McDonald’s all the time. They get the all-white meat chicken McNuggets, Apple Dippers and Milk. Believe it or not, but that’s more nutritious than a P&B Jelly sandwich or Mac & Cheese!

  10. Commodore Biggles says

    I have not eaten at a McDonald’s in years and refuse to do so on principle after watching Supersize Me.

  11. Holy hell. My wife and I have our first on the way, and while we’d decided long ago not to feed our children crap like this, this just cements the notion that much more.

    I don’t know if I would have believed this was 4 years old when taken at face value, but I got to this posting from the comments on a posting of a similarly pristine looking 1 year old happy meal.


  12. Do you really believe this? BREAD WILL MOLD. There is no way around that. There is no way they can make it so the bread will not mold. If the bread is out in the air for long enough it WILL MOLD.

  13. this company is lairs I have seen this done by companies before and they got sued, yes micky d’s is gross but fight a company with honesty not with faults hoods.

  14. I thought that this was bad, but the “healthy alternitive” for fries in a happy meal is apple slices… Sounds good… In theory. I had an opened bag of these so called apple slices left over from a lunch, in my purse for about 3 days, they still looked fresh! I don’t know what kind of preservitive they use, but I’m kinda thinking that McDonalds will be advertising a cure for aging soon…

  15. Just so you know, it’s not the chemicals that prevent these products from rotting for four years, it’s the salt content. Smaller burgers and items like McNuggets dry out before mould has a chance to grow. If you kept a larger burger for 4 years such as a Big Mac, you’d see it rot.

  16. We just don’t eat fast food. I pack snacks & sandwiches to take along. I disagree STRONGLY with whomever said Mc D’s nuggets, etc. is healthier than a pb & j. That is one reason why our country struggles so much with obesity and unhealthy eating habits. We have got to educate ourselves so that we can teach our kids to eat things that are good for them.

    p.s. I agree about the photo—-bread will mold, regardless….

  17. OMG!! I also read recently that one of the ingredients used for the ckn nuggets is used to make putty. Seriously people we are poisoning our future, how hard is it to make things w/out all these chemicals and poisons?
    I too try to make sure i have munchies w/me or i stop at a grocery store, there is just as many of those as there are fast food chains.

  18. This is not something magical or dangerous about Mcdonalds. Your food just dried out.

    like a dried apple wont rot, dried out hamburgers and nuggets and fries wont rot either.

    Dial up the critical thinking a bit, it will serve you well in life.

  19. Eww!
    I love McDonalds as an every now and then treat but this has really made me rethink what I’ll treat myself with in the future!


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