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McDonald's Is Making Happy Meals Healthier With a New Beverage

Justina Huddleston is an editor and the head writer for TDmonthly Magazine. She has been a freelance writer for several years, though her real passion is cooking. You can see the recipes she creates on her vegan food blog, A Life of Litt...

McDonald's new kids' meal drink is stirring up a bit of drama

McDonald's is always getting flak for their unhealthy food, especially when it comes to Happy Meals, but they've been slowly trying to improve over the years. Happy Meals now have smaller portions of fries or an option of apple slices, Go-Gurt or Cuties tangerines as the side, contain no artificial flavors and come with a choice of juice or milk instead of soda.

More: 10 Things you never knew about McDonald’s that might really surprise you

Their latest move? Swapping out the juice. While they have been offering Minute Maid 100 percent apple juice, they're transitioning to Honest Kids Appley Ever After starting this November. The new beverage contains 42 percent juice and the rest is water. While some seem to think this is a controversial move, cutting juice with water is actually a common parenting hack to decrease a child's sugar intake.

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According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, "[P]ediatricians should caution families that there is minimal nutritional value to fruit juice, and it should be limited to small amounts and generally avoided in infancy." McDonald's switching to Honest Kids will make it easier for kids to stay hydrated with something that tastes good but has 10 grams less sugar than the traditional 100 percent juice offering.

More: Table Service at McDonald's? Yes, Please!

Considering that just a few short years ago, the default beverage option for a Happy Meal was soda, it seems like we've come a long way. Now, how about some healthier options for us grown-ups?

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