Better Options with Fast Food: McDonald’s First Taste Lessons {Giveaway & Videos}

by Melanie Edwards on June 10, 2011 · 244 comments

in reviews

McDonald's New Menu Items

Last month I attended a McDonald’s First Taste event in New York City. The event was designed for media and bloggers to be able to sample some new menu items, meet with key McDonald’s representatives, and speak with McDonald’s nutrition manager and chef. We also had the opportunity to speak with a registered dietitian who focuses on nutrition in the Latino community.

While our family is not against fast food and do occasionally eat it, we realize that we need to be careful with our choices and monitor how much and how often we eat fast food. Attending the McDonald’s First Taste event allowed me to learn more about the various choices McDonald’s offers that will make a visit to the restaurant a more balanced visit, food-wise. I also learned about the Bag a McMeal section of the McDonald’s website, where you can choose menu items to create a more-balanced meal and monitor the nutritional information. This is good if you’re wanting to choose lower-calorie or lower-fat options from the McDonald’s menu before heading to your local McDonald’s. It definitely gives you a good perspective on what you may have been eating thus far and how you can choose better options.

I spoke with both Julia Braun, McDonald’s nutrition manager, and Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, an independent registered dietitian who focuses on nutrition in the Hispanic community. Both ladies provided insightful information regarding the McDonald’s menu. Check out the videos below to learn some tips from Sylvia on putting together a meal that meets your calorie needs, plus her take on what the Latino community can do to make healthier eating choices.

Sylvia Melendez-Klinger on Creating a Balanced Meal at McDonald’s

Sylvia Melendez-Klinger on How Latinos Can Eat Healthier

I also took the opportunity to ask Julia Braun about marketing to children at McDonald’s. Hear her response regarding McDonald’s stance on responsible marketing to children.

Julia Braun on Marketing to Children at McDonald’s

A couple of the new menu items we sampled included a mango pineapple smoothie, an Asian salad McDonald’s is bringing back for a limited time, and new sauces for the Chicken McNuggets, including a ranch sauce which will please my daughter who dips pretty much everything into ranch dressing. Of course, McDonald’s wants you to try out some of their new menu items, so they’re offering a giveaway to ModernMami™ readers with a gift card so you can do just that. Remember to also give the Bag a McMeal site a try and see what meal combinations you can come up with. Sylvia provided some tips on how you can even keep your meals around the 500 calorie mark. What 500-600 calorie meals can you create for a better fast food meal choice?


McDonald’s Gift Bag Giveaway

One Three* readers will win a McDonald’s gift bag, which contains the following items:
*Update 6/11/11: I’ve been told by the PR company that I can giveaway three bags instead of just one!

  • Tips and recipes from Chef Dan
  • Lavender scented eye mask
  • Pineapple scented candle
  • Mango scented candle
  • Notebook with pen
  • Bamboo pen
  • Balance bracelet
  • $25 McDonald’s Arch Card

How to Enter

Required entry: If you’d like to enter this contest, simply leave a comment below telling us which McDonald’s 600-calorie (or less) meal combination you prefer.

Extra entries (optional):

Each of the following will count as 1 extra entry. You’ll need to leave a separate comment for each entry.

  1. Follow @modernmami on twitter.
  2. Tweet the following: Enter to win a McDonald’s gift bag & gift card from @modernmami! #mcdonalds #giveaway #contest
  3. Receive post updates by subscribing to our RSS feed. You can do so either via email or through a RSS reader. Leave a comment saying you did so or are already a subscriber.
  4. Subscribe on friendfeed and leave a comment with your friendfeed ID.
  5. Like ModernMami™.com on Facebook.
  6. Write a blog post on your own blog sharing the details of this contest. Be sure to include a link back to this post. Leave a comment with your post link.

All entries must be in by Friday, June 17, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST. You must be 18 or older and have a valid U.S. address to enter. Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry. The winners will be chosen using and will be notified via email. (Please be sure to provide a valid email address with your entry.) Winners will have 48 hours to respond and claim prize, otherwise a new winner will be chosen.

Disclosure: I attended the McDonald’s First Taste event courtesy of VPE PR and McDonald’s. All expenses paid. No compensation received.

Photo credits: McDonald’s

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{ 244 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Janice June 12, 2011 at 1:54 am
2 Raven In A Blue Room June 12, 2011 at 6:01 am

like the calorie calculator

my meal would include: Honey Mustard Snack Wrap® (Grilled) and  Minute Maid® Orange Juice (Small) for together 410 calories

Thank you for hosting this giveaway

schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com


3 Raven In A Blue Room June 12, 2011 at 6:02 am

following     you    on twitter @left_the_starsschnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com


4 Raven In A Blue Room June 12, 2011 at 6:02 am

I tweeted your giveaway

schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com


5 Raven In A Blue Room June 12, 2011 at 6:03 am

I subscribed to your feed via google reader

schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com


6 Raven In A Blue Room June 12, 2011 at 6:03 am

I like     your blog     on facebook (Louis Here)

schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com


7 mendyd15 June 12, 2011 at 6:19 am

Prem. Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken salad
Butter garlic crutons
Lagre sweet tea
this would be my meal for a total of 330 calories


8 mendyd15 June 12, 2011 at 6:20 am

Following @modernmami on twitter.


9 mendyd15 June 12, 2011 at 6:21 am
10 modernmami July 1, 2011 at 11:55 am

Congrats! You won! :)


11 Pat Babcock June 12, 2011 at 3:24 pm

I love the Asian salad with a Diet coke


12 Pat Babcock June 12, 2011 at 3:25 pm

I follow modernmami on Twitter


13 Pat Babcock June 12, 2011 at 3:25 pm
14 Sassy June 12, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I want to try the asian salad

sassysasha817 at gmail dot com


15 Sassy June 12, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Like modern mami on fb
Sasha L

sassysasha817 at gmail dot com


16 Anonymous June 12, 2011 at 4:39 pm

BBQ Chiptole wrap and small coke.


17 Anonymous June 12, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Follow @modernmami on twitter.


18 Anonymous June 12, 2011 at 4:40 pm
19 Anonymous June 12, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Subscribed on RSS Google reader.


20 Anonymous June 12, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Like on FB.


21 Sweetone62406 June 12, 2011 at 6:07 pm

I like Honey Mustard Grilled Snack Wrap, small french fry, side salad w/low fat family recipe Newman’s Own Italian dressing and a Dasani Water.

Grilled Chicken Breast Filet60101003035010012

Flour Tortilla1404041.50033022114

Shredded Cheddar/Jack Cheese402532010751002

Shredded Lettuce00000000000

Tangy Honey Mustard Sauce1500000353020


22 Sweetone62406 June 12, 2011 at 6:09 pm

I follow on twitter @LLLSummer:disqus

sorry about that last comment being so long, copy/paste got wonky.


23 Sweetone62406 June 12, 2011 at 6:10 pm
24 mendyd15 June 12, 2011 at 6:11 pm
25 Crystle tellerday June 12, 2011 at 7:00 pm

a mcchicken and a dr pepper


26 Anonymous June 12, 2011 at 8:30 pm

chicken sandwhich with a side salad and diet soda


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