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Like It Or Not, Kids Are Getting Fruit In Their Happy Meal

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Apple Dippers that will now be found in Happy Meals (credit: CBS)

Apple Dippers that will now be found in Happy Meals (credit: CBS)

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DENVER (CBS4) – McDonald’s is making another round of menu changes as it tries to capitalize on offering healthy, fast choices. Now every child can now expect fruit in their Happy Meal, whether they order it or not.

“Every Happy Meal, starting in or by the end of the first quarter of 2012, will include a produce option or Apple Dippers. Today our parents and children have a choice of fries or Apple Dippers,” said Tom Carlson, Jr., owner of a McDonald’s located on the 16th Street Mall.

“That’s a really good idea. Have the children want to put that apple in the mix instead of having a choice, because a lot of kids won’t eat apples. They want the French fries” McDonald’s patron Jennifer Reimers said.

“Our guests have told us that this is an important element of their daily lifestyles — to have numerous choices that are a little more nutritious than what we’ve been offering,” Carlson, Jr. said.

That means the Happy Meal’s current serving size of fries will be reduced from 2.4 ounces to just over 1 ounce. That’s just fine with Tara Miller, a mother of three.

“Okay. Well, they need to be balanced, so that’s really what I care about,” Miller said.

Less fries means 20 percent less calories, but the price will remain the same.

“The exchange is perfect … for adults it might be different, but it’s for kids. As you get older you become a little more free to destroy your body and eat whatever you want,” Miller said. “But for your kids you need to make sure they have what’s best for them. And if they can’t have more fries, that’s just too bad.”

Last week McDonald’s reported a 15 percent increase in its profits and it credited the increase in part to the shift to healthier choices.

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