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Thanks, NYC, for taking the joy out of childhood

Ami is a writer who is also a childbirth educator and former doula. In addition to her love of all things birth and babies, she is addicted to celebrity news and isn't ashamed to admit it. Ami lives in Chicago with her husband and her te...

Why removing toys from Happy Meals is just McCrazy

Enough already with trying to take kids' toys — and moms' sanity — away. Don't lawmakers have more important things to do with their time?

With so many problems in the U.S. and the rest of the world going on right now, it's good to know Manhattan Councilman Ben Kallos has his priorities straight.

He wants to take away toys from your kid. He's introducing a bill that would ban fast food restaurants from giving out toys with meals that have more than 500 calories or 600 milligrams of sodium.

Now, I get there is an obesity problem. I know parents are supposed to feed their kids healthy meals, ideally from each food group. I frequent Whole Foods, but let's face it — sometimes french fries are a vegetable. It's not a sign of the apocalypse if you feed your kid a McNugget. But take away the Happy Meal toys? This is important?

News flash — parents know what's best for our kids. We can be trusted to make choices we feel are right for them. And whether we feed them gluten-free quinoa for lunch or a small cheeseburger, sometimes we want them to be quiet and stop fighting with their siblings in the car. You know what keeps kids quiet and helps moms keep their sanity?

Toys.

When my kids were younger, I loved seeing them smile when they got a toy car or collected movie character figurines from McDonald's. I see no harm in feeding kids fast food every once in a while. Everything in moderation, right?

Except toys. Everyone needs toys.

Kallos also wants to require these UNhappy Meals (see what I did there?) to include at least half a cup of fruit, vegetables or a serving of whole-grain. News flash — McDonald's now includes healthier choices in all Happy Meals, like the tiniest box of fries I've ever seen, along with a small bag of fresh apple slices. You know what else is included?

A freakin' toy.

Oy, enough already with introducing bills like these that do nothing to help the world. Even if someday fast food restaurants are banned from giving out toys or other freebies like Kallos wants them to, the bottom line is some parents are still going to buy Happy Meals for their kids.

Read more

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Healthy kids: The importance of child nutrition and exercise
School soda bans have virtually no impact

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