Would you take your small child to eat at McDonalds?

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I’m bringing you something a little different today! I’ve been crowdsourcing, which basically means asking the opinion of other amazing parents who also happen to have blogs. Today I’m sharing the opinions of multiple parents who I asked the question ‘Would you take your child to eat at McDonalds when they were small?’. I took Daisy to eat at McDonalds yesterday, as there was nowhere else open that definitely sold food friendly for her multiple allergies. While there she enjoyed a fish finger, a fruit bag and a bottle of water. I was really pleased to see the wide variety of options for parents now. Anyway – would you take your small child to eat at McDonalds was the question I asked – here are the answers from other lovely bloggers…

Would you take your child to eat at McDonalds?

Firstly I started off with a simple yes/no poll. The answers were:

50 yes. 7 no. So 50 of the 57 parents I polled said that they would take their young child to eat at McDonalds.

Next I asked for specific opinions on whether other parents would allow their small child to eat at McDonalds. These are some of the replies I got:

I have no problem taking Erin to eat at McDonald’s. Most restaurants served a lot of fried options with no fruit or veg as substitutes, where McDonald’s do. A treat now and again doesn’t hurt anyone anyway. Me him the dog and a baby

I’ve taken mine when they were little. I don’t see the problem tbh, it would be different if you went every day. Everything in moderation and all that! Blissfuldomestication

Toby (almost 4) and Teddy (2 in May) had their first ever McDonalds two weeks ago tomorrow . We wouldn’t have taken them inside if it wasn’t for the fact that they were both seriously hungry, one needed the loo desperately and it was the closest thing we could find. Raisingtherings

We pretty much only go to eat at McDonald’s or Burger King if we’re travelling and we’ve stopped at a service station. This is mainly because I don’t like the food myself- I don’t think it’s any worse than what they would eat in any mid priced restaurant bammboo

Yeah we take our kids to eat at McDonalds. It’s a treat and that’s how it should be seen. TBH I think a little junk food every now and then is ok as long as it’s part of a balanced diet. My kids are 4 and 2 and they eat a very balanced diet and that’s what matters. 2bottlesofmilk

When you’re out with little people in tow, eating out can be one of the most stressful things, especially if everyone is hungry. At least I know that Macdonalds is quick, clean and can get a buggy in the door and find a high chair. The sad thing is that not all smaller local cafes can say that. And I can cherry pick the healthier items from the menu. Maidenheadmum

On a rare occasion we have got Lola a happy meal. We get the chicken wrap minus the ketchup, fruit bag instead of chips or if we get chips then no salt and a bottle of water! I don’t see the problem with that at all. People are far far too quick to judge. Notaperfectparent

I haven’t taken my 2yo yet but I’ve not been in the circumstances you have described but, had I been in your shoes I would have done the same. I think you made sensible food choices for your daughter. It’s not like you fed her a large big Mac and fries. I hate mummy shamers with a passion. Raising A Ragamuffin

At home everything W eats is freshly made and we don’t let her have juice, sweets, junk food etc. We do go to McDonalds, maybe a handful of times a year and if we do, she will have some. If breakfast time, she has a pancake. If during the day, she has a few fries and some chicken nuggets. I don’t see a couple of times a year as a bad thing; it’s when you allow children to get used to junk food that it becomes an issue. Tattooed Tealady

My two have been to McDonald’s since they were little if we’re travelling. The food really isn’t any different than you might get in a pub setting but it’s a lot more child friendly. There’s often a soft play or playground, which they need if we are in the car for a while during a road trip. Also you get some good toys – one of our favourite bed time books (Pete the Cat) was actually the ‘toy’ in a happy meal. Baby Foote

We have taken Henry on a drive through when travellinh before. He’s 13 months and had his first at one but it was chicken nuggets, melon and milk which i think was a pretty decent meal. Infact lots of restaurants barely cater fruit or veg into their kids meals so I think McD’s is really quite good for it. Illustrated Teacup

Yes and I do! It’s also not that rare an occasion. But I would have bought her a happy meal with chicken nuggets, fries and a fruit shoot…
Life is about balance. My kids eat a spectrum of food, from mussels at 2 years old to McDonalds. I never understand why people feel the need to break out the judgey-pants. Tobyandroo

We do, I also have a 12 year old so if she asks to go I’m not going to make my 2 year old sit there with nothing. We usually get her the nuggets (She probably only eats 2 at the most) and she probably has a handful of fries if that. She’s not keen on their fruit selection (if only they did bananas or blueberries then she’d love it) A Blogs Life

I wouldn’t be giving them McDonalds as a regular thing but sure, if they’re hungry and I know they’ll eat it then we’ll go there. My son was 2 when he had his first one. He has maybe one a month, certainly no more. Everything in moderation! Pickle And Poppet

Yep I do and I don’t feel bad about it. We all go as a treat once a month and she eats a happy meal and has never died. It follows on from the train of thought that she eats what we eat. Sophie is 18 months and eats virtually everything 99% of which is healthy. Don’t feel guilty and next time let her have salt free chips! A Mum Track Mind

Macca’s / Burger King aren’t my first choice, but I don’t see the harm every now and then. It’s quick (when you need food FAST), kid friendly, and often has a play area. Winning! I don’t always give just water and fruit either. Whatever I think will work that day. I’m sorry you were made to feel inferior. Bare Mother

We go to McDonald’s with our 2 year old and 3.5 year old as they love it. It’s not everyday so it’s a nice treat. Becster

My dad, who looked after our eldest when I went back to work, took Harrison once a week from 9 months old – for a happy meal (chips, nuggets, milkshake!) and guess what – he’s now a tall, slim, perfectly healthy 6yo. Of course, most of it went on the floor but some definitely went in his mouth. I have zero issue when it’s part of a generally healthy balanced diet. Mine (now 6,4 and 2) have one a week usually. Coffee Cake Kids

I take all my kids to eat at McDonalds, my youngest is 1, twins are 2. They all eat the nuggets, chips and a fruit shoot. I’m pretty partial to a fish finger sandwich myself. I once saw in a group, a girl got a happy meal and blended it for her 6 month old because his brothers loved them and she didn’t want him missing out. Each to their own. My Little Wildlings

It’s not a regular thing, but my two do have them. We get nuggets, chips without salt and milk or water. They’re usually more interested in the toy anyway! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, as long as it’s not a really regular occurrence! Emily and Indiana

Our eldest was four when he first went to eat at McDonald’s, but then we very rarely took him out to eat. Now I would take any of mine (6, 4 and 2) if they were hungry or for an occasional treat. I don’t see that it’s worse than taking them somewhere for a cheesy pizza or pasta, everything in moderation and all! Cup Of Toast

We take our 5 and 1 year old once in a while. I’ll be honest when my daughter was 2 we never went but mainly because we never thought about it or needed to. Now we have two and travel a bit more we do go. They eat healthy 95% of the time, the odd happy meal is fine in my opinion. Talking Mums

The choice was taken from me when my husband decided to take my 2 year old (now 6). My 1 year old has now been too. I’m not fussed now and it’s a rarity they go. I can’t stand the food tbh, so it’s never somewhere I consider to buy food. Each to their own, that’s what I say. It wouldn’t be available if it was such a health hazard. Mental Parentals

We take Arthur occasionally – ask for no salt on the fries and chicken nuggets. The fruit packs are fab but I wish they’d cut the grapes! Arthur Wears

My youngest can eat the fries ( she is allergic to dairy, gluten & soya) it’s one of the very few places I can grab her something on the go. There should be no shame in what we feed our kids when we know it’s a balance. My girls eat a massively varied and healthy diet. They also have an occasional maccie D’s as do I. I don’t think people realise they are far healthier than MANY fast food outlets. The meat is 100% meat, eggs are free range, they offer fruit, water and milk as options. I’m surprised so many people still have such set views on it but perhaps they just don’t know. Munchies and Munchkins

My opinion on it?

Yes I do let me child eat at McDonalds. No I won’t be shamed about it. I’m a parent, trying my best. I was out yesterday, and my emergency pouch I keep in the changing bag was not there. My daughter was fed something relatively healthy, had fruit and water and ate a fish finger. If that makes me a bad parent, in the eyes of someone else, then frankly I don’t care. There aren’t many menu items that Daisy can have, which is a shame. I’d love to give her something like a chicken salad but she is allergic to chicken so that’s a no! I know that crispy chicken is often not very healthy, and contains a lot of calories too. But just to have a nice grilled chicken salad, with a low sugar dressing, would be a great option for little ones.

This post was partly inspired by a comment made to me on social media. We all have differing opinions in life, my opinion has become ‘each to their own’. An opinion you can see that numerous real parents mentioned above clearly think too. We are all just trying to survive the first years of Parenthood. For me this means I’m learning to adapt to a child who has multiple allergies, and could suffer a seizure or even die if she eats something she shouldn’t eat. Taking my daughter to eat at McDonalds meant I could get her some food that was definitely safe to eat. I wouldn’t have to worry about my daughter vomiting all night, or worse still ending up in hospital. I don’t want to watch Daisy for hours after we eat out, worrying that her order was somehow contaminated. I don’t have that problem with McDonalds as their menu is very clear on the ingredients. I’m not sure if this is because they are based in the United States, and are therefore very careful, or is something else, but I’m down for clear and informative menus that are updated regularly.

My daughter is only 16 months old, so perhaps considered young to eat at McDonalds in the eyes of some. You’re welcome to judge me. I don’t care. Much. I’m doing my best and that is good enough for me. If you’re going to send me a snippy message at least try and make your opinion count.

Since becoming a parent I have learned that my past judgements, before I had my daughter, were often foolish. I just to think ‘I won’t do that when I’m a Mum’ and I now do pretty much all of it. If my child wanted to eat at McDonalds everyday, and it was the only way she would eat food, then eat at McDonalds we would.

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Would you take your child to eat at McDonalds? I asked 25 parents and they are sharing their opinions today! Find out what other parents think of an occasional treat at McDonalds

13 Responses

  1. Jodie Humphries August 5, 2017 / 1:01 pm

    Funny how Macdonalds can be so divisive. Before I was a mum I had much stronger feelings about it, but now I’m on the other side of the fence I can see all the practicalities too! Thanks for doing this round up, helps ease the guilt!

    • katykicker August 5, 2017 / 6:11 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, and provide something for the article, really appreciated x

  2. Elf August 5, 2017 / 1:31 pm

    Thank you for sharing. My two boys are now healthy fit teenagers whom I took to McDonalds for a treat now and again when they were small. Most things in moderation is my motto and I would never assume I know what’s best for someone else’s child. I would add you should never let someone else make you feel guilty for the choices you make for your daughter. As parents we do the best that we can with the knowledge, information and skills we have. Take care hun. Elf x

    • katykicker August 5, 2017 / 6:12 pm

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment today, really appreciated. You’re so right. It is hard sometimes having 1000s of followers, yes it is nice, as people read my posts, but sometimes people can be really judgemental, and even hurtful, without necessarily realising why.

  3. Sarah Haynes August 5, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    My son is allergic to dairy and soya and due to his allergies being undiagnosed for months, he is also very wary of food and is very fussy. McDonald’s is surprisingly allergy friendly. Many things don’t have dairy in them and the burger buns are even dairy and soya free. A real rarity. I can get him a meal there without worrying and that he will actually eat. There are relatively few restaurants that are so friendly to his needs. We probably eat there more often than we should but it’s nice to see him enjoy eating… I wish I could buy those buns for use at home… we are now starting to suspect a problem with wheat so it might not be so easy to feed him then.

    • katykicker August 6, 2017 / 8:17 am

      Yeah I love that they are so allergy friendly too and I was really surprised. Some chains are absolutely awful! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and I hope your son is doing ok xx

  4. Kerry August 7, 2017 / 4:59 am

    My two boys are 16 and 12, slim, healthy and sporty and we enjoy a visit to McDonalds as much as the next person. Where else can you go that is so child friendly, has plenty of food options and doesn’t break the bank?

    A short side story – I have a mum friend whose first child was born 16 years ago. Despite eating fast food and convenience food herself, she became obsessed with only feeding her child fruit, veg and salad etc.

    Fast forward 16 years and the child is obsessed with fast food restaurants and chocolate (something else he wasn’t allowed to have as a child).

    • katykicker August 7, 2017 / 9:49 am

      I think everything in moderation is fine and you’re right – it really doesn’t break the bank does it!

  5. Margaret gallagher August 18, 2017 / 10:27 am

    A treat is a treat not something you get everyday
    It’s good to keep it as THAT

    • katykicker August 18, 2017 / 10:29 am

      That is so true Margaret. I’m off out again for lunch with my daughter today, she certainly won’t be going to McDonalds – instead I am packing her lunch from home (fruit and vegetable sticks, a wrap and some cold water). It is definitely a nice treat but not something that should be enjoyed all the time.

  6. Sarah Lillico September 14, 2017 / 7:02 pm

    Love this post! I think my son was about the same age as your daughter when we first ventured into McDonalds. I wanted him to experience lots of different environments and tastes and life I guess. So we took him in and ordered him nuggets and frys and water. While we ate an adult meal. Most of it was squished into the high chair or ended up on the floor but he loved it, he had a nugget and a few frys. I have no issues with anything like this, I know he has a very healthy balanced diet, I think it’s important kids experience all areas of life even fast food places. Hes a very happy, healthy 6yo now. We still pop in for a treat now and then 🙂

    • katykicker September 14, 2017 / 7:15 pm

      Thanks so much for taking the time to share with me Sarah! I couldn’t agree with you more. It is so important for children to learn what a treat is and that it is ok to have things in moderation.

  7. Mcdvoice September 28, 2018 / 9:35 am

    Great post, Katy! I am all about eating and living healthy, but I can`t lie once a while, I treat myself with a Big Mac, I think that, if it`s once or twice a year – it`s not such a big deal!

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