Food & Drink

America Apparently Stole the Happy Meal

Published On 01/19/2017 Published On 01/19/2017
McDonald's Happy Meal
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

The Happy Meal is one of those amazing all-American food inventions. You know, like ketchup. Wait, that originated in China?! We're about to melt your mind again: The McDonald's Happy Meal is actually the creation of a Guatemalan woman, according to a report by Consequence of Sound.

The first actual Happy Meal was served in Guatemala in the mid-'70s, when Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño came up with an item called a "Menu Ronald." Consequence of Sound writes that it was designed to "help parents feed their children with less fuss." The meal came with a hamburger, a small fries, and a small sundae in a bag.

Now, keep in mind that the American Dick Brams is considered the "father of the Happy Meal." He came up with the key Happy Meal innovations like a toy, putting handles on that cute little box, and offering up extra entree options for kids to debate for far too long.

So next time you're in McDonald's enjoying a cheap kids meal (if you want other filling, delicious kids meal options elsewhere, we've got 'em here), make sure to tip your cap to Guatemala.

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Lee Breslouer is a senior writer for Thrillist, and needs a McFlurry. Follow him to ice cream @LeeBreslouer.

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