Childrearing

McDonald’s Put Books In Happy Meals, Now Some Grumpy Parents Are Complaining That’s Even Worse Than Toys

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mcdonalds-happy-mealThe crummy plastic toys in McDonald’s Happy Meals are the bane of parental feet everywhere. Anyone who has ever stepped on one in the middle of the night has probably sworn that they’d give up fast food forever, just in revenge. McDonald’s Australia recently thought it was doing something good by issuing a series of Happy Meals with books inside–because most of us would prefer to give our parents books instead of swearing plastic Minions–but some parents are even more annoyed about this and are pressuring McDonald’s to end its book promotion right away.

According to Yahoo Parenting, the Parents Jury–a children’s health advocacy group–is trying to convince the Australian Advertising Standards Bureau to kill the book promotion on the grounds that Happy Meals with books are even worse for children than Happy Meals with toys. That group says McDonald’s promotion offers one of 10 hardcover books or 16 ebooks as Happy Meal prizes, and that assembling a collection of all 26 books would be very bad for children, who should really not be eating 26 Happy Meals.

“As a parent, it’s a lot harder to say ‘no’ to your child if they are asking for a book than it is when they want a Minions toy,” said Parents Jury spokesperson Alice Pryor.

I disagree. “No” is pretty easy to say. There are only two letters. “No. Nope. No. Nooooooooooo.” You could even go all retro with a Seinfeld reference and shout, “No Happy Meal for you!” but I don’t think small children have seen Seinfeld.

On top of that, parents can actually just buy all the books without buying Happy Meals. All 26 are available at McDonald’s for $1.50 for parents who want to buy the books without buying the Happy Meals, but really there’s nothing wrong with an occasional Happy Meal.

Once inside the McDonald’s it might be more difficult for a parent to explain to a child why they are just buying a book and not a Happy Meal, but for parents who face that problem, bookstores exist. Or there’s always my personal favorite solution, which is to go to McDonald’s without the kids, buy whatever books you want along with a soft-serve ice cream and an apple pie. Eat the apple pie with the ice cream, throw away the evidence, and take the books home to the kids.

(Photo: iStockPhoto/GettyImages/ Madzia71)

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