Happy Meals–do you feed them to your child?

I saw this topic on another blog and I’m interested in getting some opinions. I didn’t have my first happy meal until I was 4 or 5. Though my mom is the first to admit that she wasn’t the best at feeding us very healthy foods(she had 3 kids by the time she was 26–she was young and misinformed) she was very adamant about not allowing us to eat fast food before 4. Her reasoning was that up until 4 or 5 children just don’t need the “fat” and “grease” of a Mcdonalds happy meal.

Meanwhile I have friends with kids under age 4, who regularly eat Mcdonalds french fries and Burger King tender fries and she feels that this is completely normal. I suppose in many ways her feelings can be affirmed. I see many young children–these days–eating Mcdonalds happy meals like it’s nothing “special”. Whereas when I was a child going to Mcdonalds was a treat.

This new approach to fast-food eating is unhealthy to me. I see nothing wrong with giving a child Mcdonalds every now and then, but I see something very wrong when children eat Mcdonalds so often that they feel that it’s just a “regular” dinner. I also don’t feel that Mcdonalds is nutrious enough to even allow a child under 4 to eat it in large capacity.

Nonetheless I completely understand that when your busy, have an extra 2 dollars, and your passing a Mcdonalds every 5 minutes, it’s natural to want to feed it to your 2 or 3 year old. I just know that I wouldn’t feel right feeding my child a Mcdonald’s happy meal.

Do you feed your children Mcdonalds? If so, how often? What age do you feel is most appropriate to start allowing your child to eat Mcdonalds? What is your overall feeling on the “health” factor in Mcdonald’s happy meals? Yay or Nay?

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