I tried the new McDonald’s Happy Meal – adults will love a new item too

McDONALD’S Tests New Happy Meal Menu Items – There’s One New Addition I Really Loved.

The fast food giant changes its main menu every few weeks to attract customers, but changes to the Happy Meal are infrequent.

James Flanders, The Sun's Chief Consumer Reporter, put the new menu items to the test

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James Flanders, The Sun’s Chief Consumer Reporter, put the new menu items to the test

The shakeup is the biggest change to the Happy Meal in more than a decade, but the items aren’t yet widely available.

Four new menu items are coming to the Happy Meal range as part of a new UK trial.

James Flanders, The Sun’s Chief Consumer Reporter, was one of the first people to try out the new additions.

Select locations now feature Mayo Chicken, already a staple on the Saver menu.

This is the first time that Happy Meal fans can choose a chicken burger as their main course.

The range is also supplemented with Fish Bites: five bite-sized pieces of pollock in a crispy panko breading.

This is a brand new main option and I was keen to try them as I don’t normally opt for seafood at fast food chains.

For the first time, new flavored milks and popsicles, perfect for the summer heat, are also on the menu.

Here’s our verdict.

Fish bites – 5/5

Kids will love McDonald's new fish snacks, but so will adults

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Kids will love McDonald’s new fish snacks, but so will adults

Now I have to admit that I have never been one to rush to Maccies for a Filet-O-Fish.

When I think of fast food, I think of beef or chicken burgers with fries and a generous portion of sauces.

However, I’m always willing to try new things, and I love fish, so I was quite surprised when I took my first bite.

If you order a Happy Meal with fish snacks, you will receive a bag containing five bite-sized pollock pieces coated with crispy panko breadcrumbs.

I must say they were delicious.

You won’t feel deprived either, because each individual portion is packed with tender white fish. I also loved the panko breadcrumb coating.

For me, a coating should be crispy without excess fat. And in this case, that’s exactly what you have.

Indeed, there was a crispy crunch in every bite and just the slightest transfer of the breadcrumbs to your fingers every time you picked one up.

The new fish bites have completely changed my perspective on McDonald’s seafood products, and I can definitely admit that I’ll be coming back for more.

Kids will love it, but adults will too.

The only downside is that fish bites contain 164 calories, making them a slightly less healthy alternative to fish sticks, which they are supposed to replace.

These contain 155 calories – five calories less than the vegetarian dippers, which contain 160 calories.

NEW HAPPY MEAL TASTING LOCATIONS

THE new Happy Meal menu is on a trial basis and will only be available in the North West region of Great Britain and in selected restaurants in the Republic of Ireland.

It will involve 187 restaurants across Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, North Yorkshire and the Republic of Ireland.

The new items will be on the menu for 14 weeks from Wednesday, May 29.

But those who can’t get their hands on the new items shouldn’t be too dejected.

McDonald’s told The Sun that, pending the success of the trial, the new menu items could be rolled out nationally next year.

Mayo chicken – 5/5

Kids are in for a treat as the Mayo Chicken, already a staple of the Saver Menu, is now added to the Happy Meal menu

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Kids are in for a treat as the Mayo Chicken, already a staple of the Saver Menu, is now added to the Happy Meal menu

While the Mayo Chicken isn’t exactly new, its addition to Happy Meal menus is certainly significant.

It is the first time that children can choose between a beef burger and a chicken alternative.

Until now, the only chicken-based option available in Happy Meals was a serving of Chicken McNuggets.

For those who haven’t tried the Mayo Chicken yet, it consists of crispy coated chicken with lettuce and cool mayonnaise in a super soft bun.

I have to admit it’s my go-to burger on the main menu because of the taste and the price: £1.39.

To me, it offers everything you want from a simple chicken sandwich: a crispy breaded chicken breast that isn’t overly greasy, lettuce for a crunch, and a good dose of mayonnaise to tantalize the taste buds.

It’s a great McDonald’s product and kids will love it.

As far as burgers go, the Mayo Chicken has 282 calories and is a healthier option than the cheeseburger, which has 294 calories.

History of McDonald’s in Great Britain

Flavored milk – 3/5

Kids can choose from three new flavored milk options

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Kids can choose from three new flavored milk options

So far, the only milk available through the Happy Meal is a semi-skimmed milk carton.

However, Happy Meal fans can now choose between three new flavors: banana, chocolate and strawberry.

Now I have to admit that my favorite drink at Maccies is a large Sprite.

I don’t like the heaviness of a milky drink while stuffing my face with burgers and frying.

However, I definitely see the appeal of the new flavored milk for kids.

Strawberry was my favorite, but the other two flavors were a hit in terms of taste.

What I like, and I think parents will love too, is that these drinks have no added sugar or artificial flavors, and they certainly taste that way.

They also contain fewer calories than the standard organic low-fat milk option, averaging 92-94 calories per serving.

However, you only get 200ml of milk if you choose the flavored option, as opposed to 250ml for the unflavoured option.

HISTORY OF THE HAPPY MEAL

HAPPY Meals was first introduced in Britain in 1986, after launching in the US seven years earlier in 1979.

They cost around €3.59, but the exact price you pay will depend on your location.

McDonald’s rarely changes the menu options available in its Happy Meals.

The launch of the three new menu items announced today marks the biggest change in more than a decade.

However, McDonald’s has adapted Happy Meals on a smaller scale over the past 13 years:

  • In 2011, McDonald’s launched fruit options for Happy Meals. This included apple slices, pineapple spears, raisins and carrot sticks.
  • In 2018, a ‘healthier’ option was temporarily added to the Happy Meal menu: a grilled chicken wrap.
  • In 2019, the rhizomes were replaced by cucumber vines.
  • In 2020, McDonald’s banned hard plastic toys from its Happy Meals and offered books or other toys instead. It also launched Veggie Dippers as a new healthy menu option.

McFreezy – 4/5

Perfect for the summer, McDonald's introduces the "McFreezy"

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Perfect for the summer, McDonald’s introduces the “McFreezy”

I love popsicles and pretty much all popsicles, and these are a wonderful addition to the Happy Meal menu.

Especially now that summer is quickly approaching and the weather is getting warmer.

The new McFreezy dessert is made with fruit juice and puree and is available in orange or mango and pineapple flavors.

Both flavors were super refreshing, but I’d say the mango and pineapple option had the edge.

Like the milk options, these tasted very fresh and not overly sweet or artificial.

They tasted pretty much what the label said – just like fresh fruit juice but frozen.

I think they will definitely be a hit with kids this summer.

Plus, the fact that they’re packaged ice pop style means there’s less mess and spillage when the dessert melts.

The mango-pineapple McFreezy contains slightly more calories (45 kcal) than the orange alternative (39 calories).

HAPPY MEAL MENU COMPLETE

As standard, McDonald’s fans can take the following options with them when purchasing a Happy Meal.

Mains voltage:

  • Mayo chicken – 282 kcal
  • Fish snacks (x5) – 164 kcal
  • Vegetable dippers (x2) – 160 kcal
  • Chicken McNuggets (x4) – 174 kcal
  • Fish fingers (x3) – 155 kcal
  • Cheeseburger – 294 kcal
  • Hamburger – 248 kcal

Sides:

  • Small fries – 237 kcal
  • Cucumber bag – 12 kcal
  • Fruit bag with apple and grapes – 46 kcal
  • Orange McFreezy – 39 kcal
  • Mango and pineapple McFreezy – 45 kcal

Dips:

  • Barbecue – 49 kcal
  • Sweet and sour – 42 kcal
  • Sweet curry – 47 kcal
  • Ketchup – 27 kcal

Drinks:

  • Nestle spring water – 0 kcal
  • Organic semi-skimmed milk – 125 kcal
  • Chocolate milk – 94 kcal
  • Strawberry milk – 92 kcal
  • Banana milk – 92 kcal
  • Tropicana orange juice – 100 kcal
  • Robinsons Fruit Shoot blackcurrant and apple – 8 kcal
  • Small Coca-Cola Zero Sugar – 1kcal
  • Small diet coke – 1 kcal
  • Small Sprite Zero Sugar – 3 kcal
  • Little Oase Zero – 7kcal
  • Small Fanta Orange Zero – 3kcal
  • Small Coca-Cola Classic – 106 kcal

Customers can also choose between a toy or a book and add a fruit bag for an additional charge.

Those who don’t purchase a Happy Meal can also purchase the following items from McDonald’s main menu:

  • Fish bites (nine pieces) – £5.79
  • McFreezy – £1.59
  • Mayo Chicken – £1.39
  • Flavored milk – £1.69

How can I save money at McDonald’s?

You might not think it, but you may be charged more based solely on the McDonald’s restaurant you choose.

Research by The Sun has found that a Big Mac meal can be up to 30p cheaper in restaurants just two miles apart.

But you can buy a Big Mac and fries for just £2.99 by completing a feedback survey found on an old McDonald’s receipt.

The receipt should include a 12-digit code that you can enter on the Food for Thought website alongside your submitted survey.

You will then receive a five-digit code, which is your voucher for the €2.99 offer.

Signing up for the My McDonald’s app will keep you up to date with the latest deals and offers.

The app allows you to browse the latest menu available at McDonald’s. You can download it for free from Google Play or the App Store.

It works anywhere you have internet, so you can look up what’s on offer on the go or at home.

Every Monday the app has a large number of offers where you can make money.

You can normally get things like a Big Mac, McMuffin or Filet-O-Fish for just 99 cents.

However, you must order it via the app and request it from the nearest McDonald’s before 11:59 PM that day.

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