- The Washington Times - Friday, August 22, 2014

If McDonald's didn’t hand out toys, kids would eat better — at least that’s the theory of one New York City council member who wants to ban the restaurant from giving out the goodies in its Happy Meal boxes.

And it’s not just McDonald's. It’s all restaurants that offer toys in meals.

“I remember, as a kid, pestering my mother because I wanted that toy,” said City Councilman Ben Kallos, CBS New York reported.

With that in mind, Mr. Kallos introduced a bill to ban toys in kids’ meals — at McDonald's and at other establishments — that have too many calories, CBS New York reported. The bill’s called the “Healthy Happy Meals” and it comes with a calorie limit of 500 calories.

“We’re trying to make sure that any happy meal is a healthy happy meal and making sure that any incentives, be they toys or anything else, are tied to healthy meal choices and healthy eating,” Mr. Kallos said, CBS News reported.

The bill would also mandate the meals serve a piece of fruit or vegetable, or a serving of whole grain.

“An estimated one-fourth of a child’s meals come from restaurants or fast food places. These could be healthy calories,” Mr. Kallos said, CBS News reported. “It is difficult enough for parents to give their children healthy food without the fast-food industry spending hundreds of million dollars per year advertising to children and nearly half of that on toys.”

Mr. Kallos isn’t alone in his view.

Fellow Councilman Corey Johnson, also a Democrat, said this: “Children’s meals at fast-food restaurants are often unhealthy, yet they come with a toy. We should not be incentivizing unhealthy food when kids are not ready to make healthy choices,” CBS News reported.