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For those who take their kids to McDonalds... - Page 5

post #81 of 142
I have to say I'm kind of grossed out about kids playing and eating. Those play places are not really well maintained (at least ours aren't). I've let the kids in a play place once - we went, they played for 45 min, washed hands well, and then we went to eat. I get totally grossed out thinking about the kids playing, grabbing a fry, playing, grabbing a nugget, etc. I know you can't prevent all germs from getting you, but jeepers, it skeeves me out.

I'm of two minds with this - if we're eating in the place, I'm in the 'no toy until you've eaten' camp, because if mine get the toy they won't eat, they'll just play with the toy. BUT, if we're doing drive through, they get the toy right away in the car and can play while we're driving, then the toys go away when we get home while they eat.

I also don't get the toy if it's a crappy one (i.e. flimsy), I'll just get regular value menu type food, or split a regular meal between them - our rule is that the toy has to look like it's sturdy to get the kids meal - for example, the American Girl paper dolls would last 2 milliseconds in my house, so both kids got Lego cars instead - and they Lego cars are cute and prety sturdy. We've gotten some cool vehicle/action figure toys from kids meals at various places. We see what the toy is first, and then order based on that.
post #82 of 142
It's been a long time since the happy meal stage (although some of the toys were cool - I remember building a Jungle Story play jungle with interlocking pieces), but my recollection is that they always saw what was in the bag, but usually saved opening and playing with the toy for after eating.

I don't remember it ever being a problem - certainly no tantrums.

I'm with the crowd who don't like having to deal with ketchup-covered toys. I always had to put my tolerance level for yucky stuff into high gear at McDonald's - why add to the general yuckiness with a grubby, food-covered toy?
post #83 of 142
I don't think my daughter even realizes that a toy comes w/the meal. I don't use it as a reward, but I don't give it to her with the food, either. I did that once and had a ketchup-covered mini-Barbie and a crying little girl. I typically use the toy as a back-in-the-car treat.
post #84 of 142
I've never eaten at a McDonald's (although I got an orange juice there once) and I've sure never taken my beloved child there. If I did, I'd probably give her the toy with instructions to eat that first - likely less harmful than the "food" they serve.
post #85 of 142
I have a few thoughts reading this thread

1. My dd has never gotten condiments on a toy. That hadn't even occurred to me as a potential problem. She keeps the toy away from the ketchup. If condiments got on a toy, we'd either rinse it off or let her play with it for a while and then throw it out.

2. I choose to not live my life in fear of germs. My dd has never had even moderate illness. If she were immune deficient, I'd worry about the play land germs. As healthy as she is, I don't have a problem with that, and she's never gotten particularly sick so it hasn't caused us problems.

3. People are choosing for their kids which happy meal toy they get? I can't imagine telling my dd whether she had to get a Lego car or an American Girls toy. It seems like it should be her choice.

4. If the toy distracts her and she doesn't eat much, we put the food back in the bag and bring it with us in case she wants it later.

5. I don't mind if my dd eats in the car so long as whatever she eats can be easily vacuumed. If she doesn't eat it there and eats it in the car, I'm OK so long as there's no ketchup involved. She generally only wants water and we almost always have some with us so there isn't soda or anything to spill. And I don't make her get apples if she wants fries. We don't eat at McD's very often at all so I'm not worried about the health of the food - the PP who said she treats it more like dessert is in the same mind as me about this.
post #86 of 142
When I was growing up we lived across the street form a boy who was insanely picky. Sometimes his mother could get him to eat one meal a week and it would usually be a Happy Meal. She used the you get the toy after you eat trick out of sheer desperation.
post #87 of 142
We only get McDonalds when we are traveling on long car rides, so the toy/eat thing isn't a big deal. Hand them the bag, and if they're hungry or bored in the next 5 hours they're set. Now, if we were to go in for some reason, I'd probably save the toy for later in the car, just because I don't want to sit around all day. Ya' know?
post #88 of 142
I don't, because if McDonalds is the "food" we're having, I really don't care that much if my kids eat it or toss it. As long as they eat enough to tide themselves over until we can have something better (which they always do), I would just as soon they play with the toy.
post #89 of 142
For us McD's is a treat-we live about 40 minutes from the nearest one, so it's not something we do often, but when we go to the "big town" we go there. They have a small playland and that's what DD wants not really going and eating, the toy isn't even that interesting if there is a playland. For us it gives us a chance to sit because we usually are on a big shopping trip or we are going to the Dr office or something.
post #90 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
2. I choose to not live my life in fear of germs. My dd has never had even moderate illness. If she were immune deficient, I'd worry about the play land germs. As healthy as she is, I don't have a problem with that, and she's never gotten particularly sick so it hasn't caused us problems.

3. People are choosing for their kids which happy meal toy they get? I can't imagine telling my dd whether she had to get a Lego car or an American Girls toy. It seems like it should be her choice.
I don't live in fear of germs, I'm just grossed out by the lack of cleanliness at the play places....if I was afraid of germs, we'd be hermits. There's fear, and then there's concern about basic hygiene. My son has come out of places he's played in (like Chuck E Cheese, festival bouncers, playgrounds) and said he's smelled puke, etc. so uh, yeah - I'm grossed out, and I'll stick by it. It's one thing when you're just playing, but IMO totally another when you're handling things that are beign put into your mouth. We also wash our hands at home before we eat meals.

And...

I choose stuff for my kids all the time. We're not a consensual living family, so me choosing things, or saying no to one thing and yes to another, is just the way we live. I'm not an ogre, I just don't want shredded cardboard all over the place, or broken toys, so I say no to flimsy looking ones, or ones I know the kids would destroy/get bored with quickly.

To each her own.
post #91 of 142
I always always pull the toy out before I give my kids the meal. They can have the toy when they're done eating.
We don't allow toys during meals at home, either. And they're easily distracted by new things. If I gave them the toys with the food, they'd not eat the food hardly at all.
post #92 of 142
I rarely buy Happy Meals (I just buy nuggets and a medium fries for the kids to share most of the time) but when I do, I do let my kids open the toy when they get the meal. I have been known to take the toys if they were causing issues. I do the eat and then play because at our McDonalds the play area is totally separate from the eating area and I don't want to be running back and forth.
post #93 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evergreen View Post
When I was growing up we lived across the street form a boy who was insanely picky. Sometimes his mother could get him to eat one meal a week and it would usually be a Happy Meal. She used the you get the toy after you eat trick out of sheer desperation.
My son is like this. He has extreme pickiness and weight gain issues. If I give him the toy before the food, he will.not.eat. Period. Same goes for playing on the playground. My DD would eat fine but doesn't get her toy b/c we don't want her to taunt her brother with it (and she does). It hasn't ever been an issue, though. We usually keep the toys until we get in the car.

We definately choose the toys for them based on what we think they will like better. Definately did it with the American Doll vs. Lego car thing. They would have destroyed the paper dolls and both love playing with cars. And, they both have to have the same toy.

It just works for us.
post #94 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by peachsara View Post
My son is like this. He has extreme pickiness and weight gain issues. If I give him the toy before the food, he will.not.eat. Period. Same goes for playing on the playground. My DD would eat fine but doesn't get her toy b/c we don't want her to taunt her brother with it (and she does). It hasn't ever been an issue, though. We usually keep the toys until we get in the car.

It just works for us.
Thats how it was for my son. In fact, the ped wanted us to give him "fast food" on occasion because of the fat content and the fact that he would eat it. He is on meds that make him not hungry, so we have to force him to eat something, anything so he will gain weight. If I gave him the toy first or the playground first, he would not eat without that being a huge tantrum.

I am glad they came out with the mini meals. no more toys to deal with anyway.
post #95 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post
I don't live in fear of germs, I'm just grossed out by the lack of cleanliness at the play places....if I was afraid of germs, we'd be hermits. There's fear, and then there's concern about basic hygiene. My son has come out of places he's played in (like Chuck E Cheese, festival bouncers, playgrounds) and said he's smelled puke, etc. so uh, yeah - I'm grossed out, and I'll stick by it. It's one thing when you're just playing, but IMO totally another when you're handling things that are beign put into your mouth. We also wash our hands at home before we eat meals.
Yeah, I agree.

Like I said on the other germ thread, I actually do live my life in minor fear of some germs. I'm certainly not a germ-a-phobe, and I don't even make my kids wash their hands after they've been riding, playing outside with the goat and chickens, or digging in the mud.

But my kids have gotten stomach bugs from both Chuck-E-Cheese and McDonald's Playplace, which then got passed around through the whole family. Not life-threatening, by any means. But five days of the whole family puking and pooping their brains out is no fun, either, and I will do what I have to avoid that.

Maybe I'm just crazy, but I really hate throwing up and cleaning up diarrhea.
post #96 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuamami View Post
Yeah, I agree.

Like I said on the other germ thread, I actually do live my life in minor fear of some germs. I'm certainly not a germ-a-phobe, and I don't even make my kids wash their hands after they've been riding, playing outside with the goat and chickens, or digging in the mud.

But my kids have gotten stomach bugs from both Chuck-E-Cheese and McDonald's Playplace, which then got passed around through the whole family. Not life-threatening, by any means. But five days of the whole family puking and pooping their brains out is no fun, either, and I will do what I have to avoid that.

Maybe I'm just crazy, but I really hate throwing up and cleaning up diarrhea.

I'm the least germ phobic person I know (I actually encourage some germs to build immunity) but play places make me bring out the sanitizer as these are the only places that have given my kids (and the rest of us) the worst gastro attacks on the face of the planet. When the entire family is bent over the toilet bowl and jr is covered in excrament, it is not a good day. So I "try" to avoid them. Which means if you touch the playplace don't eat, touch your mouth and we sanitize and scrub our hands.

So I don't blame you. You have a couple of those days and remember where you just were and you get scared of them. :
post #97 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
It just depends. If the kids are already distracted and acting up then I make them wait till they are done eating. If they are being very focused and eating then I let them have it then.
Ditto this.
post #98 of 142
They can't have the toy until they eat. My son would never eat if I gave him the toy. He'd just play with the toy. Probably end up accidentally ruining his food not paying attention while playing with the toy (knock it on the floor or set an elbow in it). I want him to eat. Then he can have the toy. His sister wouldn't have the same issue with the toy. But she's just used to the rule as she's the younger. Plus if she could have the toy and he couldn't there would be a meltdown.

But we never have meltdowns over it. They know the rule. I don't even take the toy from them. It just doesn't come out of the plastic wrapper it's in until they are done eating.
post #99 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aufilia View Post
Yes, we do. Our rules when eating out are the same as at home: when the food is served, we eat. We don't play, read books, get up from the table to run around, or whatever. Meal time is family-together time. Playtime is for when are we are done and tummies are full (and, at home, have been excused).

Yes, this.
The only reason he gets the toy after when we go to McD's is because it comes at the same time as the food. We've only had one meltdown, but, honestly, I should have seen that one coming.

Otherwise, I don't care. For example, if we're on a trip and do the drive-thru then I just hand him the whole bag.

Eating is eating....whether at home or out (which is rarely, really). If this wasn't the rule then the kid would literally NEVER eat.
post #100 of 142
We rarely eat fast food, and my children have never played at a "playplace" in a food establishment because I think they're gross. I fully admit this might be an unreasonable hangup lol.

Greasy food, diapers, and play equipment doesn't mix imo. Too many raunchy smells and just ick.

For the toys we have never taken them away, but we've always just had them wait until they were done eating to mess with the toy.

I guess we're uptight, but food and meals mean you're eating. Toys mean you are playing.

And I have this hangup about greasy sticky gunk getting all over things like toys/furniture. It's just something I try to avoid because it's gross.

We will never go to chuck e cheese. We did once with our oldest and I cannot fathom a more horrific way to spend money or time.
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