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McDonald's Happy enjoy the meal hasn't always looked like this. Ratana21/Shutterstock

Before McDonald"s presented the Happy Meal, areas in Canada readily available a "Treat of the Week" for children, which gave young diners a little toy or trinket v their consistent menu orders.

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The original idea because that the Happy enjoy the meal is claimed to have come indigenous a McDonald's employee in Guatemala named Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño.


Ronald McDonald motivated the "Menu Ronald." Mike Fuentes/Getty images

In the mid-1970s, Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño developed the "Menu Ronald," which an unified a hamburger, small fries, and a small sundae especially for kids. She ultimately captured the fist of McDonald"s executives in the US.


Bob Bernstein, that is credited with inventing the Happy Meal, hold an original Happy Meal box on the product's 25th anniversary. AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

Although a St. Luigi marketing manager for McDonald"s is often called the "father that the Happy Meal," McDonald"s credits Bernstein through the idea to include toys through a children"s enjoy the meal after hearing about Fernandez de Cofiño"s "Menu Ronald."


an award provided to Bob Bernstein ~ above the 10th anniversary the the Happy Meal and also an original Happy enjoy the meal box. AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

McDonald"s very first Happy Meal showed a circus theme. Follow to Time, the meals — which consisted of a burger, fries, cookies, and a soft drink — come with one of a variety of small toy options, choose a "McDoodler" stencil or "McWrist" wallet.

A screenshot from McDonald's "Star Trek" Happy meal commercial. YouTube/TrekCore

TV advertisement promised children a "Star Trek prize" v every McDonald"s Happy Meal, follow to USA Today.

Chicken McNuggets weren't always included in a Happy Meal. Steve Parsons - PA Images/PA images via Getty images

According to USA Today, plenty of diners in the 1980s to be looking to minimize their fat intake and thus desired to eat chicken instead of red meat. McDonald"s thought that kids and parents can like an choice to eat chicken together well.

Drinks had in the McDonald's Happy meal have adjusted over the years. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

The fast-food brand has continually update its Happy enjoy the meal food and also beverage offerings since its inception, together USA today points out.

The very first Disney-themed Happy Meal came out in 1987. The meals have because featured beloved personalities like Mickey Mouse and his crew.

Caron Lawless screens her McDonald's Happy meal figurine collection. glenn Asakawa/The Denver short article via Getty photos

As Time notes, every the dog from the Disney movie "101 Dalmatians" have been featured together a Happy enjoy the meal toy.

sisters Jade, 6, and also Juele, 3, indigenous Queensland reap a Happy meal in 2006. Fairfax Media/Getty pictures

According to mental Floss, the mini Furby and also Minion playthings are few of the most an important Happy Meal toys that have actually been offered on eBay.

McDonald's assistant angry president for marketing, R.J. Milano, is pictured through a display of Teenie Beanie Babies native McDonald's Happy Meals. AP Photo/Peter Barreras

In 1997, McDonald"s started including a smaller sized version of Ty"s classic Beanie Babies in its Happy Meals. After seeing success through the toy promotion, McDonald"s available the stuffed pets in Happy Meals once yearly until 2000, follow to Time.

As the new millennium began, McDonald's confronted pressure come promote health consciousness v its Happy Meals.

McDonald's Happy meal apple slices. AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

In 2004, McDonald"s imposed the first far-ranging health changes to its Happy meal offerings. Kids could currently order reduced-fat regular and also chocolate milk and also apple juice together an alternative to soda, if apple slices replaced timeless cookies for dessert.

The following year, McDonald"s started printing nutritional information on Happy enjoy the meal boxes, according to USA Today.

McDonald's breakfast Happy Meal. McDonald"s

According to USA Today, the brand looked come capitalize top top the success it experienced from serving breakfast all day by prolonging the market to younger customers.

A kid eats a burger external a McDonald's in Milan in 2012. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

CNBC report that, as critics ongoing to link childhood excessive weight to Happy Meals, McDonald"s took chocolate milk and cheeseburgers turn off its Happy Meal food selection items, although both room still easily accessible by request.

McDonald's will continue to revamp that children's menus. 8th.creator / Shutterstock

As NPR reported, the chain has actually promised the at the very least 50% of Happy Meals will have 600 or under calorieswhile additionally cutting sodium, saturated fat, and added sugar by 2022.

Happy, a character produced by McDonald's. YouTube/Commercials Ads

Ronald McDonald hasn"t showed up in McDonald"s commercials because that a while, however a brand-new mascot is make the rounds. Called "Happy," the red character is intended to resemble a Happy enjoy the meal box. However, no all customers to be happy through the finish result.

According come the Atlantic, as soon as the character was first introduced on the McDonald"s united state Twitter page, patrons responded v criticism, phone call the brand-new mascot a "mistake," "terrifying," and even comparing the smiling character to "the monster that eliminated my uncle."

A plastic toy within a Happy Meal. David Paul Morris/Getty images

According come an article by the Independent, McDonald"s pledged in March that it would certainly be remove hard, plastic toys from Happy Meals in the UK after 2 schoolgirls started a petition to have them taken out.

The decision, which others are calling for in the united state as well, come as a solution to climate change and an effort to safeguard the environment.

"We treatment passionately around the environment and are cursed to reduce plastic throughout our service including in ~ our Happy Meal," Gareth Helm, an elderly vice president and chief marketing officer the McDonald"s UK and also Ireland, claimed in a press release.

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The readjust will go into impact in 2021 and also the plastic toys will be changed by a soft toy, a paper-based toy, or a tiny book.