Monday, February 2, 2009

Not So Happy Meals

Jack asks for McDonald's frequently. Which is odd because he doesn't like their burgers, barely touches the fries and is usually disappointed with the toy in the Happy Meals. I guess it's about the hope of something good...maybe, just maybe, he'll find the world's largest lollipop and a kid-sized motorcycle in his next Happy Meal.

In our house, we talk about green light, yellow light and red light food. (When you have 2 boys, it seems that everything comes down to a car/driving analogy.)

Fast food is red light food which is supposed to mean that you never eat it but really, who lives this way? For us, this means that we rarely eat it. But why is it that kids get a prize for eating red light food? It just doesn't seem right...

So my husband and I recently invented the Makes-Mama-Happy Meal.

There is a restuarant with healthy-ish (is that a word?) food that we like to go to. And the boys always eat well there. But for some reason, if we mention this restaurant Jack instantly starts whining.

So I now keep a stash of $1 toys in the back of my car. Whenever, Scott and I want to go to this restaurant we tell the boys they can get the Makes-Mama-Happy Meal. They eat their veggies, get a prize for it and make me happy in the process!

So step on up to the counter and order your Makes-Mama-Happy Meal.
We have the Banzai Veggie Bowl:
Or the red pepper and flank steak salad:

We also have the chopped veggie salad (not pictured). More menu items to come!

And for the record, no, I don't believe in bribing kids to eat well. But I really don't believe in bribing them to eat unhealthy (AKA the Happy Meal).

So what is in your Makes-Mama-Happy Meal?

Note: The green/yellow/red light food idea comes from Eat Healthy, Feel Great.

This wasn't a Makes-Mama-Happy Meal but I was pretty happy when after eating a 3rd helping of my veggie pasta I asked Logan if he just wanted to eat the rest out of the pot and he said "yes!"


  1. What a cute idea about the $1 toys!!!!! I don't see anything wrong with that!! :)

  2. That is a great idea and I think it is wonderful that you don't fall into that trap. We have fallen, but are working at getting back on track. My Model is such a horrible eater. So skinny.

  3. This is an awesome idea. My children love to get toys in their Happy Meals, they play with them for about 5 minutes and then forget them.

  4. I think this idea is great! They are eating food you feel good about and getting a prize -instead of eating mcnuggets and fries. Wonderful! I might even have to have the $1 idea for trips when we pack a meal. We have stopped going out and the kids hate it (they miss the happy meal toys). But, it could be fun packing them a prize in the meal we bring along on trips to the park or long drives!

  5. What a fabulous idea! Positive reinforcement always works better than the "Because I told you so!" plan - even though I've been down that road many times!!

    BTW - I passed you a Life is Grand Award. You'll just need to go to my blog to copy it. :)

  6. I read this during lunch today and it cracked me up! What a good idea. I need to stock up on the cheap toys and create my own mommy happy meals. :-)

  7. This gives new meaning to a "red light district"! Great idea about the toys - I'll have to start doing that as well!


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