5

votes

McDonald's a Special Treat?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 24, 2012 at 4:10 PM

I have a friend that treats McDonald's as a privilege that she allows her kids to enjoy.

My question is - is it right to treat McDonald's as a privilege and if so, is that putting the wrong idea into your child's mind that this is something to chow down on when they're able to buy food on their own (16+)?

I know of three different people with very distinct parenting skills:

  1. McDonald's is a privilege.
  2. McDonald's for every meal.
  3. Never eat McDonald's and provide delicious food at home or delicious dining out food (steakhouses, italian joints, etc.) The children were then allowed to taste McDonald's, and they were disgusted to the point of never wanting to go to any fastfood place again.

But I've heard arguments going the other way... that McDonald's is a privilege and not to be eaten everyday, can be taken away at anytime, etc.

E32abdc9a483de43def522faf81ed4e9

(0)

on March 27, 2014
at 03:00 AM

Absolutely right there are no black and white answers. My mom let us have junk food because she was forbade it growing up. Guess who has eating issues too? Me and my sister. It's hard to tell. I feel like we didn't learn discipline with food but then there are the folks like you who were restricted with the same result. I am opting to try and educate my kiddos on what is in food and how the body takes it. But I know they're going to have to learn for themselves. I feel like I talk about food too much to them, but I am simply doing my best!

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8

(868)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:36 PM

Those are the ingredients of the Angus spice mix that goes into it to make it taste the way it does (which is good), but it's a pretty small amount of the overall product since the carb count is so low (5g without the bun, but that includes the lettuce and tomato). Not enough for me to worry about, especially since most of that list I don't object to. I tend to add similar spices to my hamburgers when I make them at home. But yeah, go for the beef patty if the flavor of the Angus isn't worth it to you.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 26, 2012
at 04:29 PM

The "anugs burger" has Salt, sugar, onion powder, natural (animal, plant and botanical source) and artificial flavors, spice, maltodextrin, autolyzed yeast extract, dried beef broth, dextrose, garlic powder, worcestershire sauce powder [distilled vinegar, molasses, corn syrup, salt, caramel color, garlic powder, sugar, spices, tamarind, natural flavor (fruit source)], spice extractives, beef fat, caramel color, annatto and turmeric (color) in it. The beef patty has USDA inspected beef, salt, black pepper.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 26, 2012
at 04:14 PM

Chicken fat AND chicken AND chicken skin AND Flavor? How the hell can you get away with listing FLAVOR as an ingredient?

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 26, 2012
at 03:25 PM

Thats funny. So they add chicken fat back into a chicken breast fillet.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 26, 2012
at 05:27 AM

+1 Totally agree! The voice of reason!

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 26, 2012
at 05:26 AM

+1 Totally agree! Plus I know tons of kids who do not even know about Happy Meals because they don't watch TV.

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8

(868)

on July 25, 2012
at 10:49 PM

We don't celebrate Santa Claus--he's not paleo. ;)

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on July 25, 2012
at 03:03 PM

if i dove off the high dive at swim class as a kid i would get an ice cream cone from MCD's on the way home...haha my @$$ dove. besides that we didnt eat fast food, my mom knew it was more expensive than homecooking food in bulk :) McD's is a privilige? i think thats just distorted, maybe 'pick what you want mom to make for dinner' would work better

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 25, 2012
at 02:54 PM

There is something very 'off' with any fastfood salad... they have a weird plastic taste to them. Same weird, horrible smell when you open cheap bagged lettuce.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 25, 2012
at 01:02 PM

But does the trash can come with a toy?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 25, 2012
at 01:00 PM

We will always choose McDonalds for a pit stop over any other alternative. "Grab a broom and a mop, scrub from bottom to top. Do you know what that means? That McDonalds is clean." If you remember that ad, you are a bit long in the tooth. Sadly, they are not as clean as they used to be, but still better than any other that I can think of.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on July 25, 2012
at 12:43 PM

Also, salads were made fresh every morning. McDonalds moves a lot of product in a day, and salads certainly didn't hang around for three days. Not defending them, just stating what I observed. We also cracked hundreds of real eggs to make breakfast--I would be surprised if they still did that, though.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on July 25, 2012
at 12:34 PM

When I was right out of college, I did a brief stint at McDonalds. They had salads by then, and the vegetables were *not* treated with chemicals. What chemicals are they using nowadays to keep salads fresh longer? I'd like to get some of those for the vegetable rotter...I mean "crisper" drawer in my fridge.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:16 PM

She said six YEARS old. lol

Fc25b41326b954c4e5b8ce0dabb889a6

(523)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:07 PM

Bigger question - who the F*** buys a salad at McDonalds. I don't buy fast food salads because I CANT STAND iceberg lettuce. It's revolting. Blech. Anyways, I can't be sure that they DON'T put anything in their lettuce or tomato, so i'm going to assume they do.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:05 PM

You're only 6 months old once...never heard about eating McD to get through it...strange...does she put diet coke in the bottle?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:02 PM

A lot of days I prefer my smoked meat to fresh...

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 25, 2012
at 11:58 AM

Come to think about it they still do...cheap fresh coffee and a bathroom...

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 25, 2012
at 11:56 AM

Since I'm usually only spending a dollar and stopping only out of necessity I'm not too demanding about the other part.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 25, 2012
at 08:00 AM

+1 Many people do not realize how tasty REAL food is.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 25, 2012
at 07:59 AM

Sure, I still cannot forgive my father for pretending to be Santa Claus. Plus most people do get sick from McDonald's food - just not within 2 hours.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on July 25, 2012
at 06:41 AM

Well, you can't live in a bubble forever. Eventually these kids will grow up and get exposed to ordinary people who eat this stuff and don't get sick, and they will have to make their own choices. And they'll realize they were lied to, which may make the whole uber-healthy edifice crash down.

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on July 25, 2012
at 03:34 AM

Depends on the airport. Some have nothing inside the gates. The only thing I've reliably found in most airports, for whatever reason, is soggy ham croissant sandwiches. They seem to be all over airports.

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on July 25, 2012
at 03:32 AM

Yeah, their coffee is surprisingly good.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:46 AM

ew there are so many other things in an airport than McDonalds. There are fruit cups, vegetables, etc. at any Starbucks or airport snack stands. There are Chili's and other restaurants inside the gates.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:45 AM

The only time I ever had to go to a hospital from McD's was because I'd eaten a sausage egg biscuit that had been left out for several hours. So, totally my fault, not theirs. I would agree that I don't feel "great" after eating there, so I refrain. But their fries are like crack...

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8

(868)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:29 AM

In an airport, McDonald's _is_ the 'local cuisine'. If you're on the road, how are you to know which local spot is any good? I can take my chances, which I often do, but I've had some pretty bad meals as a result. It helps to have a fall back that's fast and affordable. I certainly don't delude myself into thinking it's the healthiest option, but there are other considerations at play.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:08 AM

I wouldn't call it 'food', 'angus burger', 'good lunch', 'best option', or 'as healthy'. I would call it a chemically induced belly coma of crap in a wrapper. I haven't touched any fast food place in probably four years. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy a cheap, good burger joint like Mooyah Burger where you know the meat, quality toppings, and fries. Nothing wrong with testing out the local cuisine either.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 24, 2012
at 11:51 PM

and yes, I'll admit I used to order a $1 salad as a kid after every workout. tsk tsk.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 24, 2012
at 11:51 PM

Oh hell yeah they do. There is something so disgusting about their salads if you actually have ever tasted them. Infact I've never had a fastfood salad that didn't have that funk in it.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 24, 2012
at 11:26 PM

Yes. It's all treated with chemicals to make a 3-day-old salad "look" fresh.

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8

(868)

on July 24, 2012
at 11:13 PM

"... if you eat at McDonald's you are going to get a stomach ache and get very sick and then go to a hospital." - that if/then is demonstrably false. The great majority of people who eat at McDonald's do not get a stomach ache, very sick, and go to the hospital. It's popular for a reason--it's convenient, cheap, and it tastes good. The advertising, promotions, playplaces, etc. add to that, for sure, but when it's all said and done, people are going because they like the burgers and fries. There are people who don't like the burgers and fries--and they choose not to go to McDonalds.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 24, 2012
at 09:23 PM

Sure you can shelter your kid from "the real world" - Jehovah witnesses and Mormons do all the time. I had plenty of those students - they don't drink coke and they are not allowed to do what seems "real world" for others. Muslim kids fast during Ramadan when everybody else is having Thanksgiving and they do not feel deprived. On the contrary, they feel chosen and holly. It all depends on your rules. If you think that McDonald's is the real world, then it is.

26166d2f27a57dea221a1417acbdfc2c

(168)

on July 24, 2012
at 09:07 PM

That's all very well but you can only shelter your kid from the real world for so long. My kids loved raisins as a treat until they encountered chocolate etc, and cause they didn't have it much and it tasted good, that became a better treat. My dad used to make me toys out of wood, now I think they are really cool, then I just wanted a barbie (or whatever) and felt really left out and isolated. There is definitely a happy medium.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 24, 2012
at 08:44 PM

You you're the one. McDonalds raises the combination of cheapness, convenience, selfishness and greed to an art form. They used to give me what I wanted.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 24, 2012
at 08:04 PM

I find their bathrooms are not as clean as they used to be.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 24, 2012
at 08:01 PM

What about their salads? Do they add stuff to lettuce and tomatoes?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 24, 2012
at 07:35 PM

Why do you think they lie about McDonalds? Some people get a stomach ache from fast food. I get sick if I eat at McDonald's. I just don't go to the hospital.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 24, 2012
at 07:18 PM

They shouldn't lie about McDonalds but I like it otherwise.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on July 24, 2012
at 06:39 PM

I think you have to think back to your childhood. Obviously, to health conscious adults, McDonald's is garbage that can't even decay. But to a kid, it seems like a treat. Your friends get to eat it. It's in all of the commercials. Movies are inundated with product placement. It seems special. The commercials are made to make it seem like that to kids.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 24, 2012
at 06:23 PM

The kids are really nice - well behaved and really smart.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 24, 2012
at 06:20 PM

So they lie to their kids about the effects of McDonald's food? Well-intentioned yet crappy parents.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on July 24, 2012
at 05:35 PM

@Raise: as a 34-yr old woman, I agree with you. But put yourself in the shoes of a little kid mired in the SAD food, kiddie advertising, etc. We know better. They don't.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on July 24, 2012
at 05:31 PM

Do they live in 1758? ;-) Just kidding! This is actually kind of cool.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on July 24, 2012
at 05:30 PM

"McDonalds is not THE problem. It is simply part of our culture of junk, which is the problem." Excellent point. McDonald's takes a disproportionate share of the blame because it's the most glaring example of the system it *represents.* The same goes for HFCS. HFCS isn't the problem; it's simply become the poster child/whipping boy.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 24, 2012
at 04:52 PM

One thing I do to my boyfriend that I'm sure he hates... though he took great interest in and started asking me about was flavonoids in fruit and the healing properties of vegetables and meats. It's fun to recognize the colors of fruits and vegetables and then looking up the flavonoids and their use - i.e. strawberries are red from their flavonoids, contain fisetin which boosts long term memory, etc.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 24, 2012
at 04:47 PM

What part of mcdonald's is considered a treat? The horrible hamburgers? The very plain desserts? The generally rude and incompetent workers?

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on July 24, 2012
at 04:46 PM

Same here, being denied junk food made me and my siblings eat tons of it once jobs came at 16 and leaving the house for college or work came at 18. It is hard to get past.

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20 Answers

8
C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 24, 2012
at 04:15 PM

I prefer the option of giving them wholesome treats, and letting them know that pretty much anything at McDonald's is on the same level as eating out of the trashcan. Find any type of cheat as a substitute for that.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 25, 2012
at 01:02 PM

But does the trash can come with a toy?

6
26166d2f27a57dea221a1417acbdfc2c

(168)

on July 24, 2012
at 04:42 PM

We hardly ever go to McDonalds, so to my kids see it is a treat, there's not much we can do about that. Anything they like (or like the free toys with anyway) that is rationed becomes a treat by its very nature.

They know its crap, but they don't care, and neither do I as they eat well the rest of the time. I wasn't allowed McDonalds as a child and then went crazy for fast food as a teenager when I had my own money, I'm really careful about what I forbid, if they are anything like me they'll hold those items in the highest esteem!

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on July 24, 2012
at 06:39 PM

I think you have to think back to your childhood. Obviously, to health conscious adults, McDonald's is garbage that can't even decay. But to a kid, it seems like a treat. Your friends get to eat it. It's in all of the commercials. Movies are inundated with product placement. It seems special. The commercials are made to make it seem like that to kids.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on July 24, 2012
at 04:46 PM

Same here, being denied junk food made me and my siblings eat tons of it once jobs came at 16 and leaving the house for college or work came at 18. It is hard to get past.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on July 24, 2012
at 05:35 PM

@Raise: as a 34-yr old woman, I agree with you. But put yourself in the shoes of a little kid mired in the SAD food, kiddie advertising, etc. We know better. They don't.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 24, 2012
at 04:47 PM

What part of mcdonald's is considered a treat? The horrible hamburgers? The very plain desserts? The generally rude and incompetent workers?

4
Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 24, 2012
at 07:15 PM

I get a special treat at McDonalds. A free trip to the bathroom and a cup of coffee.

I grew up with the concept of fast food being special, treated myself often as I got older, and got fat. The concept of do-it-yourself returns food prep to where it belongs. The results taste better and take longer, and that's the whole paleo point. Grok didn't have a drive thru.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 25, 2012
at 01:00 PM

We will always choose McDonalds for a pit stop over any other alternative. "Grab a broom and a mop, scrub from bottom to top. Do you know what that means? That McDonalds is clean." If you remember that ad, you are a bit long in the tooth. Sadly, they are not as clean as they used to be, but still better than any other that I can think of.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 25, 2012
at 11:56 AM

Since I'm usually only spending a dollar and stopping only out of necessity I'm not too demanding about the other part.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 24, 2012
at 08:04 PM

I find their bathrooms are not as clean as they used to be.

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on July 25, 2012
at 03:32 AM

Yeah, their coffee is surprisingly good.

3
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 24, 2012
at 04:45 PM

I never had McDonalds until I was in High School and could drive and buy it myself. Don't get me wrong, Crisco and margarine, Fritos, Oreos, ice cream, Baby Ruth bars, bread, peanut butter, pasta and 2% milk (delivered) were staples at our house. And we did have fast food now and then, but only from the local establishments (Haloburgers, Angelo's Coney Island, 5th Avenue Fish and Chips). We also ate in restaurants more than most people. I think my dad just thought McDonalds was kind of low class.

My whole family (2 parents/6 kids) are/were obese. McDonalds is not THE problem. It is simply part of our culture of junk, which is the problem.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on July 24, 2012
at 05:30 PM

"McDonalds is not THE problem. It is simply part of our culture of junk, which is the problem." Excellent point. McDonald's takes a disproportionate share of the blame because it's the most glaring example of the system it *represents.* The same goes for HFCS. HFCS isn't the problem; it's simply become the poster child/whipping boy.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 24, 2012
at 08:44 PM

You you're the one. McDonalds raises the combination of cheapness, convenience, selfishness and greed to an art form. They used to give me what I wanted.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 25, 2012
at 11:58 AM

Come to think about it they still do...cheap fresh coffee and a bathroom...

3
363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on July 24, 2012
at 04:45 PM

Denying something that a kid wants to try can cause them to grow up and eat lots of trash. My parents were super zealous about only eating healthy food, we lived on a farm, grew most of our food and raised most of our meat, but we had friends who could eat whatever they wanted, and when we went to their houses, we got to have kudos bars, and other junk. Later in life, when we left the nest and went to college and so forth, all 4 of us had overeating problems. I am the only one who has overcome this, and it is not always easy. I have a sister and a brother who live on junk food, and who, after discussing in depth, acknowledge that it comes from it being so forbidden to us as kids. My younger sister is better at battling it than the other two, and she also acknowledges it as being a problem. I think you have to be pretty delicate with a kid's psyche. I think if they don't visit friends who eat junk, or see the parents eating junk, or see commercials for the junk, then it is probably easier to avoid this problem, but being a child of the 80s/early 90s, even without cable on our farm, I was still inundated with the knowledge that these "delicious" treats were out there.

So I don't really know the answer, or what I will do with my children when we have them someday. Advertising is everywhere and it only gets worse. Our goal is to homeschool, but that doesn't mean they will be holed up and not exposed to this food. I would love to think that they would grow to have no taste for it, but denying food can cause major issues that can lead to finding the food as soon as one is able, hoarding it at time (with my older sister) and secret eating. I don't know if it is better to just provide them with all of the best foods possible, but let them have cake at a friend's birthday party, and hope they don't like it, or how to teach balance. I don't think it is so black and white.

E32abdc9a483de43def522faf81ed4e9

(0)

on March 27, 2014
at 03:00 AM

Absolutely right there are no black and white answers. My mom let us have junk food because she was forbade it growing up. Guess who has eating issues too? Me and my sister. It's hard to tell. I feel like we didn't learn discipline with food but then there are the folks like you who were restricted with the same result. I am opting to try and educate my kiddos on what is in food and how the body takes it. But I know they're going to have to learn for themselves. I feel like I talk about food too much to them, but I am simply doing my best!

3
4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

on July 24, 2012
at 04:30 PM

Virtually always a mistake, imo and experience, for a parent to dictate what a teenager (or tween) buy with their own money. McDonalds is crap and just as toxic are things like Body Shop products and cosmetics etc.

When you educate kids about food and toxins and being healthy as you raise them, they don't want crap. Or they try it with their friends and get a tummy ache and never eat it again.
McDonald's once in a while is NOT going to kill an otherwise healthy teen.
Let them make their own choices with their own money.

If they don't know by 16 that McDonald's is crap then there were 16 years of missed teaching moments. I noticed with my own three that their friends loved coming to our house because we always had fresh fruit and vegetables and cheese readily available. And I always had a bunch of health journals out on the table and it surprised even me how interested they were!

Anyway, the take away here is if you try to dictate what a teen eats or spends their own money on, you are asking for trouble.

2
457027ce8ff067aed8e771a0da404222

on July 25, 2012
at 08:48 PM

I only go to McDonalds for the bathrooms. If there's no line for ordering stuff, i'll pick up a coffee.

I haven't eaten their food for about twenty years. I used to do some of the breakfast sandwiches back in the day. I actually liked those well enough. But the burgers? Not a THING like how Mom used to make them! And those chickenoid things????

Advertising has taken on a whole new role in society today -- so I figure if any kid of mine is old enough to drive him/herself to the place and use his/her own money, fine -- teens do need choice. But as long as I am driving, NIX to the fast food places. Raising children with a variety of real foods cooked at home will largely result in children who grow up to appreciate the taste and quality of real foods.

Once, about 20 years ago, friends and I met at a McDonalds just simply because it was at a convenient location. I was clear about the fact that I found all their food inedible and that we should find something else once we met. They agreed. But when we all got there, they ate. I just watched them over a coffee.

Sorry, if I am going to eat something bad for me, it at least has to have the decency to TASTE somewhat edible. (And I wasn't even Paleo then!) McDonalds as a treat? No, a punishment!

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 26, 2012
at 05:27 AM

+1 Totally agree! The voice of reason!

2
3ab5e1b9eba22a071f653330b7fc9579

on July 25, 2012
at 11:25 AM

I have had this argument with a co-worker who gives her twin 6 year old mcdonalds once a month, personally, I believe it should NEVER ever be eaten by anyone ever. It isnt even close to food, and rewarding your kids with high value food treats like that sets them up for eating disorders later in life. Get them a toy instead. Unfortunately McDonalds advertising leads people to beleive that they are as american as baseball and paleo apple pie, and that food is an important part of family values, and if you are too busy to cook for them every night, well McDonald's is there and it means you love your kids!!! It is so wrong. Personally I feel that not ever having a happy meal is best because they cannot cry for something that they do not know about.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:16 PM

She said six YEARS old. lol

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:05 PM

You're only 6 months old once...never heard about eating McD to get through it...strange...does she put diet coke in the bottle?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 26, 2012
at 05:26 AM

+1 Totally agree! Plus I know tons of kids who do not even know about Happy Meals because they don't watch TV.

2
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on July 24, 2012
at 05:21 PM

There can be a difference between treat and a sometimes thing. I don't take my kid to McDonald's or similar restaurants, but if my bf or someone else does, I'm okay with it. Yes, the food is crap, but even kids have to have the right to some choice. Forbidding something for a kid sets it up as a way to be rebellious when they're older, so I try not to forbid, rather, I try to set a good example and educate her. The idea is to have her learn to make responsible choices.

2
93c1ae7b620a00f169502e94cf80e81f

on July 24, 2012
at 04:34 PM

I've got three small kids. From my perspective, it's my job to prep them for the real world. With that in mind, I've introduced my kids to fast food in the vein of #3. We play a game where we look for healthy "growing food" options. If options are limited, we talk about what few options are available that might come close to our Paleo/primal lifestyle.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 24, 2012
at 04:52 PM

One thing I do to my boyfriend that I'm sure he hates... though he took great interest in and started asking me about was flavonoids in fruit and the healing properties of vegetables and meats. It's fun to recognize the colors of fruits and vegetables and then looking up the flavonoids and their use - i.e. strawberries are red from their flavonoids, contain fisetin which boosts long term memory, etc.

1
F0119aaf2bbf794bdc0bd05136b8d604

on July 25, 2012
at 02:46 PM

I grew up thinking that any fast food was a treat. I think it was the deliciously greasy and salty food that was for some reason appealing. These days, I cannot stand to even consider going to a place such as McDonald's. If I don't have a choice, I'll stick to a salad.

Someone should start a paleo restaurant chain... I know there are a few restaurants that are paleo-friendly, but I would love to see something strictly paleo.

1
Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8

on July 24, 2012
at 11:20 PM

McDonald's has its place. It is dependable (the food turns out exactly how you expect it to most of the time) and quick (they have locations in very convenient places both on and off your usual route). Because of this, if you're in a strange place, you can often pop into McDonalds and know that you can get an Angus burger, skip on the bun, and have a relatively good lunch. It's often the best option if you don't have the time to research a place to eat.

I eat at McDonald's and other fast food places primarily when traveling (airports and long car rides). It's a treat in that I'm saving myself the time it would take to prepare my own food for the trip. It's not as healthy, but it's very convenient.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:46 AM

ew there are so many other things in an airport than McDonalds. There are fruit cups, vegetables, etc. at any Starbucks or airport snack stands. There are Chili's and other restaurants inside the gates.

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on July 25, 2012
at 03:34 AM

Depends on the airport. Some have nothing inside the gates. The only thing I've reliably found in most airports, for whatever reason, is soggy ham croissant sandwiches. They seem to be all over airports.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:08 AM

I wouldn't call it 'food', 'angus burger', 'good lunch', 'best option', or 'as healthy'. I would call it a chemically induced belly coma of crap in a wrapper. I haven't touched any fast food place in probably four years. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy a cheap, good burger joint like Mooyah Burger where you know the meat, quality toppings, and fries. Nothing wrong with testing out the local cuisine either.

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8

(868)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:29 AM

In an airport, McDonald's _is_ the 'local cuisine'. If you're on the road, how are you to know which local spot is any good? I can take my chances, which I often do, but I've had some pretty bad meals as a result. It helps to have a fall back that's fast and affordable. I certainly don't delude myself into thinking it's the healthiest option, but there are other considerations at play.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 26, 2012
at 04:29 PM

The "anugs burger" has Salt, sugar, onion powder, natural (animal, plant and botanical source) and artificial flavors, spice, maltodextrin, autolyzed yeast extract, dried beef broth, dextrose, garlic powder, worcestershire sauce powder [distilled vinegar, molasses, corn syrup, salt, caramel color, garlic powder, sugar, spices, tamarind, natural flavor (fruit source)], spice extractives, beef fat, caramel color, annatto and turmeric (color) in it. The beef patty has USDA inspected beef, salt, black pepper.

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8

(868)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:36 PM

Those are the ingredients of the Angus spice mix that goes into it to make it taste the way it does (which is good), but it's a pretty small amount of the overall product since the carb count is so low (5g without the bun, but that includes the lettuce and tomato). Not enough for me to worry about, especially since most of that list I don't object to. I tend to add similar spices to my hamburgers when I make them at home. But yeah, go for the beef patty if the flavor of the Angus isn't worth it to you.

1
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on July 24, 2012
at 09:28 PM

You know what is a treat? To have a kitchen, a stove, an oven, plates, cutlery AND fresh meat/veggies/fruit. Thats the treat and the standard. Everything else is junk, which is ok, on occasion.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:02 PM

A lot of days I prefer my smoked meat to fresh...

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 25, 2012
at 08:00 AM

+1 Many people do not realize how tasty REAL food is.

1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 24, 2012
at 05:19 PM

I know a couple that makes their kids believe that going to a dentist is a treat. They BEG their parents to go to a dentist. The first time I witnessed kids begging their parents to take them to a dentist I thought I was going nuts.

As for going to McDonald's - they explain to their kids that if you eat at McDonald's you are going to get a stomach ache and get very sick and then go to a hospital. So they never take their kids there.

They make simple activities fun as a treat. For example, they really enjoy contests with silly prizes - it is so much fun to watch them do it! Or they have family fun times - like trying to guess a riddle or kids making up a puppet show.

For Christmas and birthdays they give each other books.

They do not have a TV or a DVD and make toys together out of natural materials (pinecones, straw, etc.)

Oh, and their kids believe that dried fruit is candy. They were asking parents for candies and got prunes! I was like - it's a prune! The parents were - that's what we call candies in our family.

Not sure what to think.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on July 24, 2012
at 05:31 PM

Do they live in 1758? ;-) Just kidding! This is actually kind of cool.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 24, 2012
at 06:23 PM

The kids are really nice - well behaved and really smart.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 24, 2012
at 07:35 PM

Why do you think they lie about McDonalds? Some people get a stomach ache from fast food. I get sick if I eat at McDonald's. I just don't go to the hospital.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 25, 2012
at 07:59 AM

Sure, I still cannot forgive my father for pretending to be Santa Claus. Plus most people do get sick from McDonald's food - just not within 2 hours.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 24, 2012
at 07:18 PM

They shouldn't lie about McDonalds but I like it otherwise.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 24, 2012
at 06:20 PM

So they lie to their kids about the effects of McDonald's food? Well-intentioned yet crappy parents.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 24, 2012
at 09:23 PM

Sure you can shelter your kid from "the real world" - Jehovah witnesses and Mormons do all the time. I had plenty of those students - they don't drink coke and they are not allowed to do what seems "real world" for others. Muslim kids fast during Ramadan when everybody else is having Thanksgiving and they do not feel deprived. On the contrary, they feel chosen and holly. It all depends on your rules. If you think that McDonald's is the real world, then it is.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:45 AM

The only time I ever had to go to a hospital from McD's was because I'd eaten a sausage egg biscuit that had been left out for several hours. So, totally my fault, not theirs. I would agree that I don't feel "great" after eating there, so I refrain. But their fries are like crack...

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8

(868)

on July 24, 2012
at 11:13 PM

"... if you eat at McDonald's you are going to get a stomach ache and get very sick and then go to a hospital." - that if/then is demonstrably false. The great majority of people who eat at McDonald's do not get a stomach ache, very sick, and go to the hospital. It's popular for a reason--it's convenient, cheap, and it tastes good. The advertising, promotions, playplaces, etc. add to that, for sure, but when it's all said and done, people are going because they like the burgers and fries. There are people who don't like the burgers and fries--and they choose not to go to McDonalds.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on July 25, 2012
at 06:41 AM

Well, you can't live in a bubble forever. Eventually these kids will grow up and get exposed to ordinary people who eat this stuff and don't get sick, and they will have to make their own choices. And they'll realize they were lied to, which may make the whole uber-healthy edifice crash down.

26166d2f27a57dea221a1417acbdfc2c

(168)

on July 24, 2012
at 09:07 PM

That's all very well but you can only shelter your kid from the real world for so long. My kids loved raisins as a treat until they encountered chocolate etc, and cause they didn't have it much and it tasted good, that became a better treat. My dad used to make me toys out of wood, now I think they are really cool, then I just wanted a barbie (or whatever) and felt really left out and isolated. There is definitely a happy medium.

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8

(868)

on July 25, 2012
at 10:49 PM

We don't celebrate Santa Claus--he's not paleo. ;)

1
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 24, 2012
at 04:53 PM

My youngest is now trained to ask, "Does it have wheat in it?" The biggest draw was always the trinkets that came in the meals. Shitty little things that I would throw away as soon as he wasn't looking, usually after finding them with the bottom of my foot in the middle of the night. I took him to Party City and showed him that we could buy the same trinkets for mere pennies and it satisfied his "need" for the toys.

We grabbed Carl's Jr on the way home the other night. Not the greatest in the world, but we ordered the chicken sandwiches wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun. Hubby enjoyed sweet potato fries and little one had a few regular fries.

My oldest never had much in the way of fast food as a young one, so it was definitely the rare treat. My youngest, however, got the tired, exhausted parents that bought fast food every other day or so and it became "normal." It is definitely a hard habit to break, but so worth breaking!!!

1
Fc64db6a555559762432d503a1dbad19

(1478)

on July 24, 2012
at 04:53 PM

When I was growing up we ate home cooked meals most nights for the week. Every once in a while my dad would take us to Mcdonalds for a happy meal. I was more excited about the toy then the actual food. Every time I ate it I would feel sick after. My little tummy was not used to all the processed food. As an adult I refuse to EVER eat there. I associate being sick with the restaurant chain. Many of my friends ate there frequently and they never felt sick. This is because their little tummies adjusted to eating that crap.

Now I have 2 small kids, on long road trips my husband sometimes stops for In and Out or Deltaco, but never Mcdonalds. He grew up eating fast food all the time and tons of sodas. He has cut back a ton on the fast food, but still eats it every once in a while.

Conclusion: How ever you feed your children growing up is pretty much how they will eat as adults.

1
Fc25b41326b954c4e5b8ce0dabb889a6

on July 24, 2012
at 04:25 PM

Not a Treat- Mcdonald....even their fruit has stuff added to it.

Treat - Fresh berries, whole cream whipped. Now THAT is a treat.

You are what you eat....

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 24, 2012
at 08:01 PM

What about their salads? Do they add stuff to lettuce and tomatoes?

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 24, 2012
at 11:51 PM

Oh hell yeah they do. There is something so disgusting about their salads if you actually have ever tasted them. Infact I've never had a fastfood salad that didn't have that funk in it.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 24, 2012
at 11:51 PM

and yes, I'll admit I used to order a $1 salad as a kid after every workout. tsk tsk.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 24, 2012
at 11:26 PM

Yes. It's all treated with chemicals to make a 3-day-old salad "look" fresh.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on July 25, 2012
at 12:34 PM

When I was right out of college, I did a brief stint at McDonalds. They had salads by then, and the vegetables were *not* treated with chemicals. What chemicals are they using nowadays to keep salads fresh longer? I'd like to get some of those for the vegetable rotter...I mean "crisper" drawer in my fridge.

Fc25b41326b954c4e5b8ce0dabb889a6

(523)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:07 PM

Bigger question - who the F*** buys a salad at McDonalds. I don't buy fast food salads because I CANT STAND iceberg lettuce. It's revolting. Blech. Anyways, I can't be sure that they DON'T put anything in their lettuce or tomato, so i'm going to assume they do.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 25, 2012
at 02:54 PM

There is something very 'off' with any fastfood salad... they have a weird plastic taste to them. Same weird, horrible smell when you open cheap bagged lettuce.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on July 25, 2012
at 12:43 PM

Also, salads were made fresh every morning. McDonalds moves a lot of product in a day, and salads certainly didn't hang around for three days. Not defending them, just stating what I observed. We also cracked hundreds of real eggs to make breakfast--I would be surprised if they still did that, though.

0
3720f5eb63757f8cdbf393ac7530c1c3

(259)

on March 28, 2014
at 09:44 PM

My parents weren't health freaks and never talked to me about eating, but my mum was ALWAYS into proper home cooking using ingredients from scratch. She used to cook lovely stews and casseroles and I think she took me to McDonalds just once when I was a child. We (my family) all agreed it was disgusting and never went back, simple as that. I think my mum told me it was disgusting before we went and as a kid I was very easily influenced so I believed her before even taking my first bite!

As an adult I should think I've still only been to McDonalds a handful of times and I still find them pretty bad, although I must admit I DO like a Burger King Whopper - maybe because I was never told they were disgusting? I would still only have one 2 or 3 times a year though as its definitely a 'treat' food.

0
De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 26, 2012
at 03:25 PM

If I'm going to have a "treat" it's going to still be primal. Think cheesecake, ice cream, cookies, etc.

McDonalds grosses me out.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 26, 2012
at 03:13 PM

Not to belabor the point, but I looked up the ingredients list for the McDonald's Grilled Chicken Breast (you'd think just chicken right?) Here it is:

Chicken breast fillet with rib meat, water, seasoning (rice starch, salt, sugar, yeast extract, canola oil, onion powder, maltodextrin, chicken skin, paprika, flavor, sunflower oil, chicken, garlic powder, chicken fat, spices), sodium phosphates.

http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/getnutrition/ingredientslist.pdf

Seriously? They have to flavor their chicken breast with "Chicken" and "Flavor"?
What kind of season is rice starch? maltodextrin? yeast extract?

Their Milkshake has 4 ingredients. Their chicken fillet has 18!


IMO, McDonalrds is out.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 26, 2012
at 03:25 PM

Thats funny. So they add chicken fat back into a chicken breast fillet.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 26, 2012
at 04:14 PM

Chicken fat AND chicken AND chicken skin AND Flavor? How the hell can you get away with listing FLAVOR as an ingredient?

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