Mommas, McDonald's wants you!
It's every Mommas dilemma: You've got to get Johnny to the baseball field and Cindy to gymnastics, and you have no time to fix dinner. You pull through the Mickey D's drive-through. But as you place your order you cringe inside, because you know the fries contain crazy calories and all kinds of fat. So you cross your fingers and pray that you will be able to get the kids to eat healthy tomorrow.
Now McDonald's is trying to get the word out about their healthy food by using people they know you can trust -- other Mommas. According to the Washington Post, they are giving Moms in the behind-the-scenes tours of the company's operations and then asking them to tell the world about what they have seen, via the Web. McDonald's execs hopes to get what they're calling Quality Correspondents to spread the word on their food's good ingredients (real eggs and chicken, apple slices, low-fat milk) rather than focusing on the unhealthy choices (i.e., the bad stuff that tastes so good).
Said Tara Hayes, manager of U.S. communications at McDonald's, "We saw this as a great opportunity to give the facts and let people make up their minds for themselves. You can take it or leave it."
The Mommas in the program say that no one told them what to say. "We've been told to tell our perspective on things," said Veronica Gilmore of Edinburg, Va. "That's all we can ask for."
McDonald's isn't alone in trying to ditch its junk-food image, especially in light of obesity rates among children in this country. Last year, Burger King gave its kids' menu a healthy makeover, adding apple slices in the shape of fries, flame-broiled (instead of fried) chicken tenders and low-fat milk. That meal would be a total of 305 calories and 8.5 grams of fat.
Now, not everyone can be a Quality Correspondent, but you can join the community to hear and read what these women have to say as often as they update their reports. So, as we prepare for this week's gorgefest on Thursday, perhaps we should be thankful that we do have choices to make. We can forgo fast food or -- when Mom's Taxi does the drive-through boogie -- at least make healthier choices.
-- Sherry Robinson
[The familiar face of McDonald's, Ronald McDonald, in this photo from the Associated Press.]