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McDonald's to remove cheeseburgers from Happy Meal menu

McDonald's are on a mission to make Happy Meals healthier worldwide.

McDonald's has announced that by the end of 2022, at least 50% of Happy Meals listed on menus will meet McDonald's new Global Happy Meal Nutrition Criteria.

Meals are now set to contain less than or equal to 600 calories; 10 percent of calories from saturated fat; 650mg sodium; and 10 percent of calories from added sugar.

Among the changes to the Happy Meal, is the removal of cheeseburgers from the Happy Meal menu, unless specifically requested by the customer. French fries will be replaced with kids-sized fries in the 6-piece Chicken McNugget meal, which decreases the calories and sodium in the fries serving by half.

McDonald's is also reformulating their chocolate milk to reduce the amount of sugar in it. During this period chocolate milk will be removed from the menu but will be available if customers request it.

Bottled water is to be added to the Happy Meal menu but will cost extra; soft drink does not cost extra.

According to USA Today, the U.S company said it intends to explore new additions to the Happy Meal, such as a Junior Chicken and a grilled chicken sandwich.

"It's a journey. It's a delicate balance. Customers are looking for options today they can feel good about eating," said Julia Braun, the burger chain's head of global nutrition.

McDonald's has made changes to the Happy Meal in the past, for example, introducing apple slices in 2004 and removing soft drink from its menu boards in 2013.

The current price of a Happy Meal in New Zealand is $5.60.