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I don't like it and don't do it regularly, but there are days where my kids eat Happy Meals. I think today is going to be one of those days as I just don't feel very good and I can't deal with anything. I think I'll have my husband pick up happy meals on his way home from work.<br><br>
Which I posted on Facebook, and one of the replies was surprise that I would ever give my kids Happy Meals. I am not sure if it is a judgmental thing or if she thinks I'm a more awesome mom than I am and is surprised that I have those days too.<br><br>
So anyway, does anyone else sometimes do the Happy Meal thing? And who has managed to NEVER give their kids a Happy Meal? And if so, what tips do you have for moms with, say, chronic health conditions who have bad days sometimes. What can I keep on hand if I can't deal with mealtime?
 

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We do happy meals while traveling only but about once a week we get chicken strips, jojo potatoes, and maple carrots from the grocery store. We also sometimes pick up a burrito from a place that does grilled veggies inside.
 

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<p>If we lived near a McDs with an indoor playspace, I swear, we would be there once a week.  We don't have that - urban real estate is too pricey for playspaces around here - but I can absolutely see why some families would.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The happy meal doesn't thrill me, nutritionally, but it's not worse then the emergency chicken nuggets I keep in the freezer.</p>
 

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<p>well my dd has never had a happy meal. well let me put it this way - she has tried but never ever enjoyed a happy meal. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>she is a hard one to please. does not like pizza's, or pbj,  or happy meals or burgers or any sorta typical kids food. BUT </p>
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<p>however her 'happy meals' are burritos, tacos. sushi from the grocery store. subway sandwiches. </p>
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<p>however even as a 2 year old dd would much rather eat say a shepherd's pie or pot pie from Trader Joe's than fast food. she is so not a fast food fan. maybe she'd do chinese fast food. </p>
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<p>on pretty bad days she'd happily eat turkey and mayo sandwiches which she would make herself. </p>
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<p>in the past as a single wohm tv diners were more of my mainstay rather than fast food. just coz dd has never really liked fast food. she WILL eat popeye's biscuits and their red bean and rice (she is not a vegetarian) but nothing else from there. she tried KFC's chicken one time and could not go beyond a couple of bites. she threw up. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>honestly what floats your boat at that moment is what matters. </p>
 

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My oldest is only 3.5yo so take this FWIW. She has never had a Happy Meal. She has had McD fries several times. Mostly when I was pregnant as I had a craving a few times <img alt="bag.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/bag.gif"><br><br>
However, I have had a bit of an epiphany recently and I don't think we will have McDs again. We do sometimes have Red Rooster which I believe is a bit better. It is BBQ chicken and it is recognisably chicken, not ground, processed pieces. And the chips seem more normal too. Maybe I'm deluding myself. We're more likely to get fish and chips from a local, family-owned fish and chip shop.<br><br>
At home, I-just-cant-do-it meals for her are baked beans, fried egg on toast, toasted sandwiches or leftovers, if we have them. If I was really, really desperate I could also do cereal or yoghurt or PB sandwiches as we usually have those things in the fridge-pantry.
 

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Does your grocery store sell pre-roasted chickens? Here, a whole ready to eat bird costs $7 at a conventional grocery. Then a sack of salad greens and bits pre-washed and chopped is $3, Add a bag of frozen brown rice kept on hand (I've only seen at WF) $3, and that's a square meal for 5 for $13, and the only work is serving it. And microwaving the rice. We do this a lot for family gatherings since there's lots of special diets and picky people.
 

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<p>Cynthiamoon, I do know that with two errands and a willingness to do cleanup, I could have a cheaper, nutritionally better meal. </p>
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<p>I'm not going to McD's out of some kind of illusion that it's the best we could have for the price.  I go because it's <em>easy -</em> I will not have to do dishes.  I go because it's <em>convenient</em> - there's a McD's on the road from the freeway to my house, so on a night when we've been stuck in traffic for an hour trying to get home, I can pull over and get us a meal.  I go because it's <em>not our house</em>, and sometimes, when the weather's bad and we're going stir crazy, we need to be out of our house very badly.  I go because it's <em>air conditioned</em>, and sometimes, when the weather's a different kind of bad, I would just about give my right arm for a cold drink in a cool place.  I go because I don't want to hear any arguments about the appeal of brown rice or grocery store rotisserie chickens, or have the checkout line conversation about why, even if someone has allowance to spare, we are not buying bubble gum.  I go because we can <em>bring this with us</em>, much more easily then bagged salad and rotisserie chicken, when we need to eat on the move, in a hurry between appointments or on road trips.</p>
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<p>DH will be out of town this weekend, and I am saving up all of our household help for a bigger issue next weekend.  We will probably go to McDonalds.  They will sell me fluffy coffee, and the kids will hopefully find their toys interesting enough that I will get to sit still while I drink it.</p>
 

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<p>Yep, we go. Once upon a time we didn't. Life was simpler, I could pack or make most of our meals. DD1 was 4 and still thought McD's was a farm, as in Old MacDonald's Farm, the song!</p>
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<p>Life changed. We used to hit a drive through several times a week for various reasons. We were busy. We lived out of town, there were times that we had to eat dinner/lunch in town but I hadn't been home in 10 hours to pack or pre-cook food and we still couldn't go home yet. With various medical or behavioral issues in some of my kids, actually going INTO a place wasn't always an option. There are no Whole Foods or TJ or anything like that here. Then I had/have a child with severe eating issues. McD's was the only thing he ate for a long time. I am now limiting it for him to once a week and we do intensive feeding therapy but honestly the food that we've managed to replace McD's with isn't any healthier. When your child would seriously rather not eat for days at a time and hasn't have the cognitive ability to understand anything, you end up feeding them anything just to get calories into them. We do live more centrally located now so we can run home for dinner or lunch and then head back out to sports again which has made our life so much easier. I'm not under any delusions that fast food is healthy for us.</p>
 

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Sorry I upset you. I was only responding to this part of your post: "And if so, what tips do you have for moms with, say, chronic health conditions who have bad days sometimes. What can I keep on hand if I can't deal with mealtime?"<br><br>
If you hadn't asked, I wouldn't have offered alternatives. I went to a fast good restaurant for the first time in years because I wanted the easiest possible route of food to mouth with an infant in tow that I didn't want to bring in anywhere. No judgement here!
 

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<p>Never.  We eat other fast food sometimes, but Happy Meals do not have any main dishes that we eat (last time I checked).  We like the veggie burgers at Burger King.  We like Long John Silver's fish.  But we tend not to eat at classic fast food places much because there aren't any in our neighborhood other than SubWay (we eat there sometimes) and we minimize trips to suburbia.  We do eat out about once a week on average but are more likely to go to "fast casual" places like Qdoba or Panera, a diner, or a Chinese restaurant.</p>
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<div> What can I keep on hand if I can't deal with mealtime?</div>
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<p>Frozen pizzas.  PB&J.  Ramen noodles.  Canned or boxed soup.  Cheese, corn chips, salsa, and canned beans for making nachos.  Pasta and jarred sauce.  Cold cereal and milk.  Canned fruit.  Eggs.  Boxed mac&cheese.  Many of these things aren't the healthiest or most nutritionally complete, but they're no worse than Happy Meals and less expensive and not a lot of work.  We keep all of these things on hand all the time, and my son routinely eats them for after-school snacks (because either he can fix them for himself, or Daddy can fix them quickly and then get back to work in his home office), and we average at least a couple dinners or weekend lunches per month of this kind of food, on days when we're pretty busy or the parent who's supposed to cook isn't feeling well.  (At this point, I'm 13 weeks pregnant, and I think I've cooked a real meal from scratch 3 times in the past 8 weeks...all the rest has been fixing easy stuff, going out, or getting my partner to cook!)</p>
 

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<p>I have never bought a Happy Meal (see below, it is for more reasons than the obvious) but my mom does take DS to McD's for Happy Meals and play time.  DS sees it as a huge treat. </p>
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<p>One of the reasons it is easy for us to resist fast food is that is it very inconvenient.  I would have to get in the car and drive 30 minutes round trip to pick it up so it is never a time saver.</p>
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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mamazee</strong> <a href="/community/t/1392142/do-your-kids-ever-eat-happy-meals#post_17495299"><img alt="View Post" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
And who has managed to NEVER give their kids a Happy Meal? And if so, what tips do you have for moms with, say, chronic health conditions who have bad days sometimes. What can I keep on hand if I can't deal with mealtime?</div>
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<p>Things I keep on hand for when I can't deal with dinner - pasta, jarred sauce and ground beef (I pre-cook it when I have the energy and freeze it in 1 lb bags), Progresso soups (or any brand that requires nothing more than dumping it into the pot), frozen pizzas.</p>
 

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Well, we just got back from a swing through the Burger King drive through. We hadn't done that in a really long time. The kids were thrilled and I can rest my swollen eye.
 

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Yep, we do some fast food. The kids have the option of getting fast food every Wednesday for lunch (it's their early-out day at school, so I pick them up at lunch time), but most of the time we have an outing planned that day instead, so we only end up doing the McD's thing about once a month. We eat home cooked meals 90% of the time, so I don't worry too much about the other 10%.<br><br>
We're having In N Out for dinner tonight. Yum!
 

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<p>YES.  Especially McDonalds after 4pm when we want a quick dinner out.  $2 for a hamburger, fries, apple slices, milk, and a toy.  I can have a mcwrap, DD1 gets the fries, apple, and milk, DD2 eats the burger and some fries.  Everyone is quiet, fed, happy, and no one had to be unbuckled for an extra round of in/out during errands that evening.</p>
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<p> At one time I would have said "never", but fast food has changed.  Its healthier, its real food, its kids friendly, and everything in that happy meal listed above?  She can eat on her own, no help, no cutting up, no liquid messes.  And she loves thier milk jugs.  We even bought some of those mcdonald's halloween coupons so that I can drive through and get her a milk for 20 cents when I'm out and want a frappe for myself.  Its very convenient, and no, we don't eat there regularly, but you know, its really nice to have around.  And I don't feel the least bit guilty about supporting a business that has carefully thought through my concerns and needs as a young mom (those fries come in a small carboard envelope, one that is the perfect size for toddler hands and has less fries than before but also stands up on its own nicely.  Someone should be promoted for all these great changes to kids happy meals.)</p>
 
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<p>Yeah sure, my kids get Happy Meals sometimes.  Definitely not every day or even every week.  They know that Happy Meals are a treat.  They enjoy them, so why not indulge them occasionally.  <img alt=":kid" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/kid.gif" style=""></p>
 

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My kids get Fries or a Frosty from Wendy's but I do draw a line @ FF meat. DH doesn't always, but it is not beef, it is chicken & it is only like 1x every 2 years. So I don't try to go there & my children are FF vegetarians. However mama has been known to get a Jr Cheeseburger. Trying to stop tho & haven't since I made a big deal out of skipping Rhogham in favor of testing this time (both FF beef & Rhogham involve a theoretical BSE (mad cow) risk.)
 

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<p>McDonalds no....Wendy's yes...McDonalds we don't eat at because I can't get her gluten free happy meal....I can at my local Wendy's...After 4pm it is only 1.99 and she feels like she is getting something "normal" like the other kids in her world of being gluten,dairy,soy and apple allergic.. we also do Feingold...</p>
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<p>Do we eat it every day? No...Maybe 2x's a month if she can sweet talk me and I actually have the $$....Our budget is pretty tight here so even these are luxuries...</p>
 

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<p>A trip to Playland is a very motivating factor for my intense 4 yr old. He was struggling to listen to directions at home and when I told him that he could earn a Playland trip (we hadn't been in a long time because he wouldn't listen when it was time to go and threw a fit) by following directions first time asked at home - brushing teeth, getting dressed, getting pj's on, etc, he did it! We went 3 days ago and he's still following directions better. I will happily take him once a week if it means getting through daily life without pulling my hair out in frustration. Another plus is that we fed our whole family - two teens included - off the dollar menu for less than $20 and that included ice creams or apple pie. Totally worth it in IMO!</p>
 

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<p>We are vegan and don't frequent fast food joints so, no <img alt=":)" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="">   However, my mother will occasionally take DS to an indoor playground at either McD or Burger King and she'll get fries or something while he plays. DS has no idea what a Happy Meal is and only equates these places with an occasional playground trip with Grandma. He's never really had the exposure that some kids get to them.</p>
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<p>I tend to make meals ahead of time and have simple items on hand to make if I'm in a pinch or not feeling well.</p>
 
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