Tried the new McDonald’s Happy Meal – adults will love a new menu item as much as kids

McDONALD’S is testing new Happy Meal menu items – there’s one new addition that I really liked.

The fast-food giant changes its main menu every few weeks to attract customers, but Happy Meal changes don’t happen often.

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The Sun’s chief consumer reporter James Flanders tries out the new menu items

The shake is the biggest Happy Meal change in more than a decade — but the items aren’t yet available everywhere.

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

The Sun’s chief consumer reporter James Flanders was one of the first to try out the new additions.

Now on the menu at select locations is Mayo Chicken, now a staple of the Saver menu.

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

Next to join the range are Fish Bites – five bite-sized pieces of pollock in a crispy panko breadcrumb.

These are a brand new main option and I was keen to try them as I usually don’t go for fish based items at fast food chains.

For the first time, the menu also includes new flavored milk and ice pops, perfect for the summer heat.

Here’s our verdict.

Fish Bites – 5/5

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

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

Now, I must admit, I’ve 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 sauces.

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

If you order a Happy Meal with fish bites, you’ll get a bag containing five bite-sized pieces of pollock coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs.

I have to say they were delicious.

You don’t feel skimpy either, as each individual serving is packed with tender white fish. I also liked the panko breadcrumb coating.

For me, a coating should be crispy without excess grease. And in this case, you have exactly that.

Indeed, there was a crunchy crunch with every bite and just the slightest transfer of the breadcrumbs to your fingers every time you took one.

The new fish bites have completely changed my view of McDonald’s fish based products and I can certainly admit that I will be back for more.

Kids will love them, but so will adults.

The only downside is that the fish bites have 164 calories, making them a slightly less healthy alternative to the fish fingers they are meant to replace.

They have 155 calories – five calories less than the vegetarian meals, which have 160 calories.

NEW HAPPY MEAL TRIAL LOCATIONS

The new Happy Meal menu is a trial and will only be available in the North West region of the UK and in selected restaurants in the Republic of Ireland.

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

The new items will appear on menus for 14 weeks from Wednesday 29 May.

But those who can’t get their hands on the new products shouldn’t be disheartened.

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

Mayo Chicken – 5/5

Kids are in for a treat as Chicken Mayo, already a staple of the Saver menu, now joins the Happy Meal menu

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Kids are in for a treat as Chicken Mayo, already a staple of the Saver menu, now joins the Happy Meal menu

While mayo chicken isn’t exactly new, its addition to Happy Meal menus is certainly notable.

It’s the first time kids will be able to 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 Mayo Chicken, it features crispy coated chicken with lettuce and cold mayo in a super soft bun.

I have to admit that this is my go-to burger on the main menu because of the taste and the price – £1.39.

To me, it provides everything you want from a regular chicken sandwich – crispy breaded chicken that isn’t too greasy, lettuce to add crunch, and dollops of mayo to hit the taste buds.

This is a great McDonald’s staple and kids will love it.

As for burgers, the Chicken Mayo 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

Children can choose between three new flavored milk options

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Children can choose between three new flavored milk options

Until now, the only milk offered through Happy Meal was the plain semi-skimmed cartons.

However, Happy Meal fans will now be able to 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 fries.

I can certainly see the appeal of the new flavored milk for kids though.

Strawberry was my favorite, but the other two flavors hit the spot when it comes to taste.

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

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

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

HAPPY MEAL HISTORY

HAPPY Meals were first introduced in the UK in 1986, having been launched in the US seven years earlier in 1979.

They cost around £3.59, but the exact price you’ll pay depends on your location.

McDonald’s rarely shakes up the options available on the Happy Meals menu.

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

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

  • In 2011, McDonald’s launched fruit options for Happy Meals. This includes apple slices, pineapple slices, raisins and carrot sticks.
  • In 2018, a “healthier” option – grilled chicken – was temporarily added to the Happy Meal menu.
  • In 2019, carrot sticks were replaced by cucumber sticks.
  • In 2020, McDonald’s banned hard plastic toys from its Happy Meals, offering books or various toys instead. It also launched Veggie Dippers as a new healthy menu option.

McFreezee – 4/5

Perfect for summer, McDonald's presents "Mcfreezee"

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

I love popsicles and just about any popsicle, and these are a wonderful addition to the Happy Meal menu.

Especially now that summer is fast approaching and the weather is warming up.

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 version had the edge.

Like the milk options, they tasted very fresh and weren’t overly sweet or artificial.

They tasted pretty much what it says on the label – just like fresh fruit juice, but frozen.

I think they are sure to be a hit with the kids this summer.

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

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

FULL HAPPY MEAL MENU

AS standard, McDonald’s fans can purchase the following options when purchasing a Happy Meal.

Electrical network:

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

Countries:

  • Small fries – 237kcal
  • A bag of cucumbers – 12kcal
  • A bag of apples and grapes – 46kcal
  • Orange McFreezy – 39kcal
  • Mango and Pineapple McFreezy – 45kcal

drops:

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

Drinks:

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

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

Those who do not buy a Happy Meal can also buy the following items from the main McDonald’s menu:

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

How can I save money at McDonald’s?

You might not think so, but you could end up being charged more just based 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 get your hands on a Big Mac and fries for just £2.99 by completing a feedback survey, which can be found on any old McDonald’s receipt.

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

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

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

The app will let you 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 search what’s on offer while you’re out and about or at home.

Every Monday, the app offers multiple deals that you can earn money from.

You can usually get things like a Big Mac, McMuffin or Fillet-O-Fish for just 99p.

However, you must order it on the app and pick it up at your nearest McDonald’s by 11:59pm on the day.

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