Happy Meals may lose toys in California county

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 29th April 2010

California’s Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has voted to prevent restaurants from supplying toys and other promotions with high-calorie children’s meals.

The ordinance bans the inclusion of any toy in a children’s meal with over 485 calories or 600mg of salt.  No single item can contain over 200 calories, and the drink is limited to 120 calories.  No more than 35% of the meal’s calories can come from fat, and no more than 10% from added sugar.

The strict criteria rule out all of McDonald’s Happy Meals, including those with fruit slices and juices instead of french fries and soft drink.

The ordinance must be approved at a second meeting next month.  If passed, the board has agreed to delay the start of the ban by 90 days, to allow restaurants to change their menus.

The board’s jurisdiction is limited to unincorporated parts of Santa Clara county, including much of Silicon Valley.