Books + Fast Food

I read an article today that stated,

McDonald’s UK is to hand out around nine million popular children’s books with its Happy Meals, as part of a new partnership with publishing house HarperCollins. The promotion aims to get books into the hands of families and support mums and dads in reading with their children… Each book comes with a finger puppet to help parents bring the stories to life for their children, and to encourage children of all reading abilities to use their imagination and create their own tales.

For about a month, McDonald’s UK will nix the toys that normally come with these meals and instead, hand out books by British writer, Michael Morpurgo (he penned War Horse).

I don’t eat McDonald’s but I would like to ignore the argument about childhood obesity for the moment and just focus on the books (note: I do, however, think that way too many adults and children are unhealthy and obese). According to the National Literacy Trust, four million/1-in-3 children in Britain do not own a book.

I come down on the side that this is a good idea. Not to be too pessimistic, but my opinion is: the children will be eating this food anyway so to provide them with a book instead of a crummy plastic toy seems like a much better idea. I mean, they come with finger puppets!

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9 comments

  1. That is an awesome idea. It’s up to the parents to moderate what their kids eat, but this will put books in the hands of a lot of children who otherwise wouldn’t have them. I wish they’d start this in the US.

    1. I know. Also, I think people forget that sometimes you just need a little guilty pleasure food that is totally unhealthy and greasy. So, the kids might as well get a fun book. Maybe if it’s successful in the UK, they’ll think about bringing it to the US.

  2. I posted a link to this on Facebook last night and was absolutely excoriated for even suggesting that McDonald’s might be a good thing! I think its a great idea.. anything that gets books into people’s hands is a good thing. Its not as if these people would otherwise be eating an organic vegan lunch.

    1. Exactly, and as an occasional thing, it’s great for preserving parents sanity if they had a rough day at work and just don’t have the energy to cook. It’s just one of those things that’s best in moderation.

  3. I have no scientific proof to this at all but I just have a feeling that the more developed children’s brains become (stimulation from reading a book, etc.), the better choices they might make–like eating a more nutritious diet.

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