publicationmedia-verification" content="e1322166-9f17-48d2-91a8-6ef3e24e5faa

Why Do All Kids Want To Go To McDonalds?

As a parent I usually believe most things in moderation. I’m strict with junk food, TV and the iPad but I don’t ban any of these simple pleasures for my gremlin. I want her to understand all three things all allowed, as long as she has played, done some exercise, eaten a balanced meal etc. It’s important for her to enjoy life but understand she cannot have things that are not brilliant for her, all the time.


I do have one exception to the food rule.


It’s not that I have deliberately banned it, not at all. Pre-children, hubby and I would have never gone (I did have a chocolate milkshake after Piglet was born but that’s another story). As a family with children it isn’t somewhere we would want to take the gremlin. The food has improved, don’t get me wrong but I’d much rather go for a more substantial meal or buy her a tuna and sweetcorn sandwich, then get a Happy Meal. She would basically choose fish fingers and chips and the fruit option would be a waste of time. She can have fish and chips at home!

I used to go as a child now and then. It was a treat if we good in town in half term. This basically meant my bro and I let my Mum do her shopping without killing each other or “showing her up”. When I was old enough to make the decision myself, I rarely went To McDs. Much preferred a Boots sarnie and a bag of pic and mix from the market (no healthier mind!)

The gremlin has been to McDonalds with nursery on a trip a while back. She enjoyed it but didn’t really talk about it much and that was that.

I thought the McDonalds thing wasn’t an issue.

Until recently. She has suddenly started talking about “Manic Donalds”, as she pronounces it, quite a lot. A LOT. She wants to go. Where has this come from? We were walking into town the other day and she saw a chip packet on the floor and almost wet herself in excitement. She found out they do milkshakes and her chocoholic brain is very keen on this option. We drive past a McDonalds and she is pointing it out and begging me to look out of the window to see too.

McDonalds, how have you done it? I haven’t seen any adverts on the television. Is it YouTube? Have her friends at nursery banged on about it? HOW have you managed to make my daughter want to eat in one of your establishments? What is the lure?

I haven’t a clue but it proves trying to shelter your child, is the biggest waste of time ever, as what you don’t want them to see or have, will have a way of finding them.

We will probably go to McDonalds at some point. I’m wondering if the gremlin likes the idea of going more than the food but we shall see.

It’s been years since I had a chicken nugget….



  1. January 30, 2017 / 6:38 am

    How funny when they cant even advertise like they used to. As a family we don’t eat McDonald’s or any fast food really except the occasional KFC bucket. I did used to let E have a McDonald’s though back when I also ate it. I then became more conscious of what we eat and she’s not hugely fussed about it either! Maybe if she has it she’ll realise its not all that.. #marvmondays

  2. donna
    January 30, 2017 / 9:23 am

    I’m like you, I hardly ever went as a child, and certainly not with my parents. They do do quite quite nice iced coffees in the summer, so me and husband will pop to a drive through sometimes, but I doubt I’ve eaten there for 5 years, and it’s always been rare!

    The Boy went through a phase of loving it. He’d ask all the time. So I let him occasionally, and now he’s over it! He’d rather go to nando’s! #marvmondays

  3. January 30, 2017 / 10:43 am

    My middle moaned and moaned for McD’s at one point. constantly! It got quite annoying at times haha. She hasn’t had one for a good while now though. #MarvMondays

  4. January 30, 2017 / 6:18 pm

    You should read my McGuilt post! Our eldest loves a happy meal… have to say though we have pretty much stopped going as the mouse wouldn’t eat a single thing in there. One sensible family member at least!

  5. January 30, 2017 / 6:42 pm

    We very,very rarely eat here,we always feel dirty afterwards lol, it’s not somewhere I want the kids thinking it a nice place to eat? I’d rather take them to a restaurant we’ve only ever been when we need something really quick. Take her to gourmet burger kitchen instead haha. #marvmondays

  6. Fridgesays
    January 30, 2017 / 8:25 pm

    #marvmonday my little man goes there. He calls it old McDonald’s and hasn’t worked out the toy comes with the meal yet 🙂 I had a friend who didn’t have a Tv – when she visited she didn’t want to play, just to watch TV…I realised then that balance is everything. Don’t get me wrong, he likes sushi and sandwiches, pizza and noodles – I guess variety is the spice of life.

  7. January 30, 2017 / 9:19 pm

    We don’t go that often, it’s a treat or an emergency. But when I ask the Tubblet where she wants to go, she always says My Donalds! #marvmondays

  8. January 31, 2017 / 7:49 am

    This is hilarious. Where has she picked it up from? My initial thoughts were adverts or friends if it isn’t somewhere you go! We don’t really go either and like you I’m all for everything in moderation, but for us junk food is more likely to mean a packet of crisps or a Chinese takeaway rather than a McDonald’s as its just not that appetising. I have taken Monkey once or twice, usually with friends who wanted to take the kids, and he’s had the fish fingers but luckily he’s never been that bothered by it. Probably because he’s always been so fussy with food haha. Weird how the grem has picked it up though!

  9. January 31, 2017 / 7:50 am

    Everything in moderation. It could be a treat once every couple of months or something? I do know that they can do the chips without salt and they do have fruit packs and things to help make healthier choices. A small chocolate milkshake may just take the edge off her excitement for a while 😉 #twinklytuesdays

  10. January 31, 2017 / 9:10 am

    It has a certain appeal about it. Here in Cornwall we don’t have any within half an hour of us which helps, however on long journeys it is our regular family stop and I’m embarrassed to say my kids all look forward to it and adore it. It has become associated with holiday journeys now! #TwinklyTuesday

  11. January 31, 2017 / 11:21 am

    Totally agree that it should be everything in moderation. You can’t escape Maccy D’s. I get the odd happy meal as a ‘treat’ and that’s all it ever will be. #MarvMondays

  12. January 31, 2017 / 12:16 pm

    BB calls it ‘Old McDonald’s!’ We go occasionally as a treat – I must say I was impressed how much the menu has improved, and they can have milk instead of a fizzy drink… #twinklytuesday

  13. January 31, 2017 / 6:41 pm

    im not sure how close one is to you. but there is one about half an hour from me that has a soft play area inside – might be worth investigating and try to wear her out through play so not to let her eat? hahahahahaha! who am i kidding! mcdonalds is amazing, i craved 20 chicken nuggets with sweet and sour sauce when pregnant.. i dont know why as im more of a quarter pounder kind of gal!
    wait til she discovers they have drive throughs! #twinklytuesday

  14. February 1, 2017 / 7:52 am

    I love their fries. Nobody does fries like McDonald’s. It’s probably other kids talking about it. Maybe if you took her she wouldn’t like it. A parent can hope. #bestandworst

    • RunJumpScrap
      February 2, 2017 / 7:53 pm

      Actually I love the fries…..

  15. February 1, 2017 / 10:48 am

    McD’s as a treat or as an emergency. though rarely go in – it’s more of a drive through thing. Don’t know if that;s worse though? #bestandworst

  16. February 1, 2017 / 11:30 am

    “Manic Donalds” that is priceless!! I’ve never taken my girls either, like you say, there are plenty of other options – we prefer Pizza Express! Ava has been to a birthday party at one once, but didn’t seem overly impressed x #bestandworst

  17. Rach
    February 1, 2017 / 11:55 am

    Ha ha ha, this made me laugh. I think my son has had Maccy D’s once, fish fingers if I recall and he wasn’t overly impressed which I’m quite pleased about. Stick a Domino’s pizza in front of him and he’ll polish off the lot though. He’s his Mother’s son, what can I say? #bestandworst

  18. February 1, 2017 / 12:18 pm

    My guess would be the other kids at nursery. I guess you can’t keep them away from everything but your approach is excellent. Everything in moderation, I guess you might just have to let the odd McDonalds into that and hope it’s a phase she gets fed up with quickly! #marvmondays

  19. February 1, 2017 / 1:47 pm

    Its the toys here. Sam has a whole drawer of rubbish toys and in there are his Kinder Egg toys and Happy Meal toys!! He plays with them once but at the time they are sooo exciting to him! #bestandworst xx

  20. February 1, 2017 / 4:19 pm

    We do it occasionally- the girls think it is a big old deal.

  21. Briony
    February 1, 2017 / 4:29 pm

    Oh they always find out somehow. L likes it but not because of the food, just because he knows it’s a special treat. The toy and balloon help too. #bestandworst

  22. February 1, 2017 / 5:32 pm

    It’s so funny how fast they figure it out! It’s a big deal!

  23. February 1, 2017 / 6:28 pm

    Huge fan of manic donalds here – I can’t lie! Not that I go these days with being gluten free, but before the children, it was my staple Sunday dinner and the ONLY cure for a hangover!! My kids can take it or leave it, they don’t really like chips (weird kids!) and will only pick at a chicken nugget, the bit they do like is the toy that comes with the happy meal though! #twinklytuesdays

  24. February 1, 2017 / 7:55 pm

    We are partial to the odd McDonalds, it’s not a holiday without a Mac’s for us!


  25. Nige
    February 1, 2017 / 8:59 pm

    The power of advertising you not going to like me now I LOVE MACDONALDS sorry! The girls go as a treat and have to stop myself from taking them every week. I’m on gremlins side with this one. Come on sarah get her down to macdonalds. Fab post thanks for hosting #bestandworst

  26. February 1, 2017 / 10:03 pm

    Oh wow! That’s quite terrifying. Maybe it’s subliminal messaging! #bestandworst

  27. February 1, 2017 / 10:40 pm

    I know a guy who convinced his kids to stop asking to go to McDonalds by telling them you have to be 18 to eat there.

    Not sure how old they got before they realised they were being tricked.

    • RunJumpScrap
      February 2, 2017 / 7:52 pm

      That’s awesome! X

  28. February 1, 2017 / 11:22 pm

    It’s amazing what they pick up isn’t it? Mcdonalds must have some clever subliminal advertising going on! #bestandworst

  29. February 1, 2017 / 11:28 pm

    I’ve got to admit that I do like a cheeky McDonalds here and there but I would much rather go to Tesco and spend the same amount on a “take away” from there. Alfie gets treated to McDonalds by his childminder every so often and he started shouting it out the window and we were gobsmacked he knew what it was called!

    They always find out somehow! #bestandworst

    • RunJumpScrap
      February 2, 2017 / 7:52 pm

      Haha! Brilliant x

  30. Emily
    February 2, 2017 / 9:37 am

    Our girls love McDonald’s, but so do hubby and I. I don’t mind them having it now and again. As you say they could have that type of food at home, but they could also have a sandwich like the one you mention at home too. I think it’s just all about moderation. #bestandworst

  31. February 2, 2017 / 11:01 am

    I’m pretty sure that my 4 year old recognised McDonalds before he even knew what it was! We never watch TV with adverts so I’m completely baffled as to how he knew – there is some weird magic going on here I think! #bestandworst

  32. Alana - Burnished Chaos
    February 2, 2017 / 12:28 pm

    I don’t know how they do it, it’s not like the toys are any good either! With my first we never ventured in one till his was 2 and we were stuck in a service station and it’s was probably another year before he went again. It didn’t last though and it has been used as a bribe to get us round the supermarket in one piece on more than one occasion! I’d much rather take them out somewhere for proper food though x

  33. February 2, 2017 / 2:45 pm

    Manic Donalds – that’s priceless!
    I guess the question wasn’t about will it happen, but WHEN will it happen. As long as it’s occasional and in moderation – as you are doing so well with everything else – it shouldn’t be a problem.
    PS: Probably let her try the Chicken Select…

  34. Sam Kersley
    February 2, 2017 / 3:41 pm

    Lol McDonalds do have a way with Kids. We’ve taken Logan a few times when we have it’s either been an emergency or a easy option if we’ve been out late or going to be out late. Logan will always point at one and say “Chips” lol #bestandworst

  35. Laura Beresford
    February 3, 2017 / 7:43 am

    We’ve only been a couple of times. I think the kids could take it or leave it. They do like the toys though…

  36. February 3, 2017 / 12:24 pm

    I have to confess I’m a McAddict. I do hope not to pass that down to my son… but it sounds like I may not have a choice! #bestandworst

  37. February 3, 2017 / 7:27 pm

    My boy is crazy for McDonald’s (old McDonald’s as he calls it) he always asks for it. I tend to get him a sandwich and banana from shop but if my husband is with us we end up getting Leo a happy meal as oli can’t resist a big mac!He eats healthy food too so I’m not too worried xx #twinklytuesday

  38. ohmummymia
    February 3, 2017 / 8:07 pm

    It’s not so bad if you going there once a while. I can tell you that everyone loves McDonalds that’s the problem:D I love a healhty food but once a year I love to eat ice cream form MC:D

  39. February 3, 2017 / 9:38 pm

    We will only go there if it’s the only thing open. I am surprised that a nursery would take them! #bestandworst

  40. Lisa (mummascribbles)
    February 4, 2017 / 7:44 pm

    The only reason Zach has been in McDonald’s is for a wee! We have one not far from us and he’s always referred to the sign as M for mummy! I’m not a fan myself so just haven’t bothered taking him. I’m sure he’ll discover it one day. He did have a Wimpy yesterday though haha! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  41. Jaki
    February 5, 2017 / 5:35 pm

    Guilty as charged. We do go occasionally as a treat, I think Little Man likes to go for the toy in the Happy Meal more than anything! Having said that, we were put off for AGES recently when both me and the hubby had food poisoning and the only place we had eaten was there. I’m sure it was a one off but it put us off for quite some time! #bestandworst

  42. Carolina Twin Mom / Mary Peterson
    February 6, 2017 / 6:12 pm

    I’m obsessed with McDonalds! I used to go (pre-kid) only several times a year, but now that I have little ones (and Mickey D’s has round the clock breakfast), we go every week. I’m ashamed to admit this, but my son will not eat chicken of any kind EXCEPT for McNuggets. Sigh. He has me trained…..#bestandworst