Thursday, June 24, 2010

Meals should be Happy

It's always good to know that we have so many groups out there looking after our well being. Just a few days ago, fast food chain McDonald's was put on notice by one of these watchdog groups, that if the hamburger giant didn't stop putting toys in their Happy Meals they would be sued!

Now, Happy Meals have been around for a good many years. These meals are packaged in a cute little box with cartoon charaters on the sides. The themes of the boxes change from time to time and are many times tied into a movie promotion. Inside the box you get a burger and fries and a soda comes with it. Quite often the deal includes a little toy and we're not talking anything fancy here. It's usually a cheap little plastic figure that may be broke or lost before you make it back to the house.

Well, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (Believe me, I'm not making this up) thinks that this is a dastardly practice by McDonald's. "It's a creepy and predatory practice that warrants an injunction." Yep, that was a statement from their spokesman. Now, I never realized there was a Center for Science in the Public Interest but its obvious they are a busy group. They claim that using toys to intice children instills bad eating habits. The soda wth the burger and fries is fine but throw in that five cent piece of plastic and you've got a real problem on your hands.

Years ago, in the early sixties, it was a big deal to stick a little toy in a box of cereal. The cereal companies would market the hell out these cereals. Most often on a kid's TV show. Well kids begged their parents to buy these cereals. I still remember collecting the characters from the Sky King television show.

Most of those breakfast cereals weren't the greatest nutritional meal to be serving the kids. But, you know what, it was up to the parent to make the choice of what to feed their children. The director of this CSPI says, "multibillion dollar corporations make parents' job nearly impossible by giving away toys". Well, no its not nearly impossible to do the right thing for your kids. Yeah, the kids are always going to want to go with those toys. If I carried the family purse back in those sixties, I'd buy a box of that cereal every day to get the Sky King toy I wanted. My parents didn't do that though, they did what they thought was right.

So, maybe the CSPI should look into suing the parents who aren't doing the right thing. Maybe they should find out why some parents think its alright to feed their kids burgers and fries on a daily basis. A Happy Meal now and then should be reserved as a treat for the kids. A reward after a great game of soccer or a well executed dance recital. Oh, and yeah, sometimes the toy can be used to intice the little one to finish up that meal so you can get home to watch The Bachelor.

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