When I hear “McDonald’s” I think of much more than the Chicken McNuggets and Big Macs. It takes me back to my childhood – spending playful afternoons with my cousins on the old McDonald’s Grimace playground. I remember birthday parties and waiting for the annual Shamrock Shakes (as a kid it’s what I looked forward to between Christmas and Easter).

Me with a friend & cousin at McDonalds.

I pleasantly reflect on the simpler times of age 7 just hanging out with my best friend – and later, the first time I shared food with a boy. LOL. McDonald’s is part of my childhood – its there when I look back at family albums; there when I tell stories of being a little girl. There were infrequent mornings my mother would drive us through the drive-thru for breakfast before school – probably because we were running late or ran out of milk – but to me it was a treat sharing hotcakes in the backseat with my brother and sister. Those were the mornings we were signed into school a few minutes late too. I’m guessing my mom was a bit stressed those morning and probably late for work as well – but to us it was a spontaneous surprise, ones that I still treasure as fond childhood memories.

McDonald’s was never about the food, especially as a young kid – although who can deny that they’ve got the best fries? As an adult and mom, I’m more aware of the nutritional balance necessary for a health lifestyle. McDonald’s offers a variety of nutritional options. Perhaps my view isn’t shared by all, especially with recent controversy on the fast food industry. Personally, I find it a shame that McDonald’s carry the burden for this fast food crisis of late, especially since they share that platform with many other quick-serve meal establishments but in recent years McDonald’s has taken a proactive look at their corporate and cultural responsibility and made some significant menu adjustments – namely revising the contents and portion sizes of their Happy Meals. All Happy Meals come with a kids sized fries and apple slices along with either a burger or nuggets and choice of drink.

McDonalds McWrap, Vegetables, Nutrition

McDonald's Premium McWrap

Fresh ingredients McDonald’s uses in menu items like Premium McWrap

Still not convinced??? You don’t have to take my word for it. Click here for the nutritional information on the Premium McWraps and other menu items. Better yet – share this little video from www.happymeal.com about eating fruits with your young ones (it’s cute and catchy). There are so many resources for teaching children about healthy eating and nutrition. Talk through your decisions when ordering out – even when making a “poor” choice explaining that sometimes you can have a splurge item. Teaching moments can be made of any meal: drive-thru or home-cooked, so enjoy. And speaking of enjoying – three lucky winners will be mailed a coupon for a FREE Premium McWrap. Winners must be in the United States. To enter, simply follow us on Facebook and leave us a comment below. The first three followers to comment will be contacted for mailing address. Simple and delicious.

I also had the opportunity to attend a one-of-a-kind fashion show in the King of Prussia Bloomingdale’s earlier this month featuring local fashion artists’ designs inspired by the Premium McWrap. These unique, flirty and fun wrap dresses were auctioned off with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House charity. If you missed the event you can catch a glimpse of some of the run-way fun here. McDonald's Premium McWrap at Ronald McDonald House Charty event Bloomingdale'sAnd although the bidding has expired – the Ronald McDonald House always takes donations, helping local families focus on the care of their ill children and staying close by in their housing facilities. It’s a remarkable organization and I encourage you to read more about it or check out the video below.

Bottom line: McDonald’s isn’t the enemy. They aren’t the root cause to all things unhealthy. They offer same tasty healthy menu options, family-friendly nutrition tips, convenience we’ve all depended on and philanthropic efforts we can see helping our local families. I’m proud to be a McCafe Club Mom and support the educational value in teaching our children about nutrition.

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are strictly mine. I had the pleasure of a free sample of the Premium McWrap provided by McDonald’s. Coupons for our giveaway have also been provided by McDonald’s. I was not compensated for this review.