Last week I had the honor of attending a Blogger Breakfast arranged by McDonald's® in So Cal (@McDonalds_SoCal on twitter) and a local nutritionist, Monica Montes. Now, you might wonder why I would be going to a “food blogger” event…

As a busy mom with a home office and several businesses, I stay up really late working and then get up early to start work again (calling the east coast and all) and then get the kids ready and off to school. Sometimes, we are running late, ran out of milk, I did not have time to cook, I am driving the kids to school in my PJs … there are mornings that we are so pressed for time where we get in the car, I ask if the kids had breakfast and they both answer, “No”. Really?!

I mean, I do have food in my house! Maybe not milk all the time but there are eggs and oatmeal and fruit and yogurt and all kinds of yummy options! Ideally I'd be some Betty Crocker making breakfast for them every morning and chasing after them to make sure they ate (more than the 1-2 times I already tell them to eat) but that just isn't the reality. The reality is that we pass over 20 fast food places on the way to school, which includes 3 McDonald's®, and with time being an issue, the options all seem unhealthy, greasy, and disappointing. And, the kids are all too happy to visit Starbuck's or any other fast food place and spend money we don't have on breakfasts that frankly, aren't that good, health-wise or flavor-wise.

Now, I am a big skeptic of big chain fast food especially since I worked in a fast food restaurant when I was 16. Things have changed! And wow, was I surprised.

McDonald's® “Commitments to Offer Improved Nutrition Choices”, announced in 2011, provides the impetus behind the release of the new Egg White Delight McMuffin®. Did you know that McDonald's was concerned for our health? Well, now you know! This program also incorporates the My Plate initiative from the USDA to help reset Americans' ideas of portion and plate size to help us have a healthier future. I am definitely glad and excited to see McDonald's® responding to the need and requests for healthier fast-food options with menu items that taste good too!

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We were invited to try the new Egg White Delight McMuffin® breakfast sandwich. I have eaten my fair share of egg whites and egg white sandwiches and I was prepared for a bland experience. Let me tell you — it was soooooooooo incredibly flavorful!!! The sandwich is prepared with egg whites, white cheddar cheese, and extra lean Canadian bacon, all on a new whole grain English muffin. Since I am gluten-free, I passed on the muffin so I got the full impact of the egg-cheese-ham flavor profile.  I could totally eat this for breakfast when on the go!

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The really surprising part of the breakfast was the reaction from my kids. They both loved the sandwich; even 6 year old Matt gobbled it up! As a teenager, Katie is very concerned about health and trying to stay fit so she really appreciated the 250 calorie sandwich's flavor. The egg white can be substituted on any McDonald's® breakfast sandwich, so, if my husband wanted a meatier breakfast, like the Sausage McMuffin® with Egg, he could get that with the Egg White to save a few calories and fat grams. Truth be told, the yolk of the egg is where all of the nutrients are, but, when you're trying to lose a little weight or grab a bite to eat on the go, the egg whites option at McDonald's® is a very practical and tasty option.

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Another healthy and tasty option is the Fruit & Maple Oatmeal! Katie is not a big fan of oatmeal (I think I ruined her!) but she tried the McDonald's® Fruit & Maple Oatmeal and loved it. I mean, she polished off the entire cup before I could even get a bite. Teenagers! But really — I love that she loved it!  The Fruit & Maple Oatmeal with a coffee and 1 cup of milk (all of which we can get at McDonald's®) is only 400 calories so it is a great option for a teen or moms on the go who want to keep health in mind.

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After we sampled the food, we were taken on a tour of the kitchen and witnessed some of McDonald's® food handling practices. I was really pleased to hear that their salads are made fresh daily from 12 different kinds of lettuce. And, after 8 hours, the unsold salads are discarded.

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They also have a state of the art filtration system for their frying oil, on the off-chance you want to indluge in a little crispy snack.

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Their inventory management system is all computerized so they know what food to make and when to meet upcoming demand and are very adept at not wasting food by preparing too much in advance. In fact, most of their food is made to order except during high demand times, like lunch, when they may make the food 2-3 minutes ahead of when you order it (still faster than my own kitchen!). I was really surprised and pleased to see how far cleanliness, health-consciousness, and food prep have come in the 20 years since I worked at a fast food chain.

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The school year will be here before we know it. I mean, how is it almost July already?! And, in the off-chance that I am running late…okay, let's be honest; on the 2-3 days a week I am running a little late, I can stop at McDonald's® and get the kids an Egg White Delight McMuffin®, OJ or Smoothie (the new Blueberry Pomegranate one is delish) and not feel bad about it.

I know you get busy too. I hope this encourages you to reconsiderMcDonald's®  as a healthy option for your family during our busy lives.

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I also want to send out a HUGE thank you to our tour guides and Monica Montes (left) for sharing with us these new options at McDonald's®. Knowledge is power and now I can feel good about choices that we make in light of our hectic schedules.

 

 

 

 

Author: Jennifer Priest

It started with jewelry, beading, sewing, home decor, painting, basket weaving, pottery, and cross-stitch. Marry that to an entrepreneurial spirit & at 9 years old a girl is selling her wares at craft fairs as far as her parents and grandparents would drive her. These days, Jennifer enjoys crafts of all genres from sewing to scrapbooking to jewelry with a little dabbling in the mixed media world. Her style is approachable and she wants everyone who sees her work to feel that they too can embrace creativity and make their home and life beautiful.

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14 thoughts on “Totally Surprised … by McDonald’s!

  1. I would love to try their newer breakfast items. The egg white sandwich sounds pretty good!

    Posted on July 1, 2013 at 11:42 am
  2. Oh yum! This looks pretty good! I love that they are starting to have some more healthy options to choose from!! :)

    Posted on July 1, 2013 at 11:56 am
  3. I have always been a fan of McDonalds, even knowing the unhealthy options but have been a little more careful since having my children so I would love to try these out.

    Posted on July 1, 2013 at 12:05 pm
  4. I definitely want to try the egg white mcmuffin–i’m all about the healthy options!

    Posted on July 1, 2013 at 12:11 pm
  5. I have tried them, think they’re great & will eat them again!

    Posted on July 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm
  6. I don’t eat at McDonald’s often, but when I do…breakfast! I can’t resist their hashbrowns.

    Posted on July 1, 2013 at 5:33 pm
  7. I love that McDonalds has a healthy, tasty breakfast sandwich.

    Posted on July 6, 2013 at 8:45 am
  8. Great and informative post! We tried them when they first came out and my 6 yr old loves them!

    Posted on July 6, 2013 at 10:27 pm
  9. As a mom of 4 (3 will be in school next month!), I was happy to read this post! Healthy, fast, cheaper options are far and few between. Thanks so much for sharing!
    !

    Posted on July 6, 2013 at 11:04 pm
  10. I tried this recently, too, and was very surprised with how much I loved it!! Thanks for sharing the ‘behind the scenes’ details of salads, etc. Good to know!!

    Posted on July 6, 2013 at 11:35 pm
  11. I don’t eat breakfast as often as I should…would love to try the new menu options!

    Posted on July 7, 2013 at 12:00 am
  12. I would definitely try the egg white McMuffin, LOVE their breakfast food!!!

    Posted on July 7, 2013 at 4:26 am
  13. I actually love the oatmeak they have. I have three smal kiddos and if our morning is full of appointments and errands it’s nice to have a fast yummy option.

    Posted on July 7, 2013 at 6:15 am
  14. My family and I always drive thru McDonald’s for their healthy selections. Would love to try their newest breakfast sandwich too!

    Posted on July 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm