I originally posted this last summer, but I thought I would do an update with better pictures.
Last week, I took the boys to see “How To Tame Your Dragon” (a really GREAT movie by the way)! I loved the underlying message of the movie and thought it very appropriate for Sam, who has been struggling this school year to accept the things that make him “different” among his peers. I thought this movie was the perfect representation of the concept that “different” is not synonymous with bad, wrong, unworthy, etc. It was a good self-esteem builder for Sam (as it played out in his language). Click here for a website that Mike found, called Movie Mom. Nell Minow does a good job of breaking down movies to help parents decided if they want to take their child to a particular film.
Sam is 6 and Luke is 2 1/2 and I took both of them. Sam had no problems and didn’t even catch the “breastplate” comment. Luke was only half interested in the movie because I bought him a package of M&M’s (NOTHING trumps chocolate with that child!). Luke did manage to wear the 3-D glasses throughout most of the movie and only commented a couple of times that “the dragons are loud.”
ANYWAY, the reason I brought up the movie is because I treated the boys to a “mama-made” Happy Meal after the movie, complete with the “How To Tame Your Dragon” toy that is currently being offered at McDonald’s. I am catching on to their marketing techniques to children! It is ALL about the packaging and the toy for kids. Well, at least for my 6 and 2 year old!
Well, I can play that game too!
So here is how I do it. Every now and then I go to McDonalds (always at an off time like 3 pm, because this confuses the heck out of the staff! “You want a Happy Meal with no food but all the boxes???” YEP!) I like to buy about 10 at a time so I have enough for Sam and Luke to get 5 each over the course of a few months (it’s a TREAT, not a staple!). With the Happy Meal packaging (including the chicken nugget boxes, french fry sleeves, cups, lids, etc.) and all 10 toys, it costs about $16.00, give or take. I then take the stuff home for assembly and storage (the extras store nicely in a 2 gallon HEFTY Storage Bag).
All the “must-have” components for a “mama-made” gluten-free Happy Meal!
I get it ALL, down to the napkin!
For the fries, I use Ore-Ida’s Extra Crispy Fast Food French Fries (which I bake, not fry).
For the chicken nuggets, I use Allergy Free Foods Chicken Nuggets, which are not only gluten-free, but they are dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and tree-nut free too! You can buy these in smaller units at The Gluten Free Mall. I used to buy them on QVC, but they are no longer available there. The Allergy Free Foods Chicken Nuggets are really good “kid style” chicken nuggets, even I love them! They are not cheap though so I use them for special occasions like GF Happy Meals!
I only buy Happy Meals when they are available in the box, because that is what I remember getting growing up.
Sam has finally weaned off of the “Sweet & Sour” sauce that he liked from his gluten-days and ketchup works just fine now.
Don’t forget the toy!
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