This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
Canada's fast food chains have many delicious options to choose from, but some of the most fun menu items are those for kids. They typically feature colourful packaging, miniature-sized food, fun toys and lower prices — most of the time.
McDonald's is famous for its Happy Meals that come in an iconic red box with a yellow smile. However, other fast food restaurants also offer kids' meals, though they are often forgotten because sometimes you can't compete with McNuggets.
However, after some first-hand research experience in trying four different chicken nugget kids' meals, I must say, it was a tough call and I struggled to find a winner.
Kid’s meals at fast food chains are supposed to be fun right? #wendys #mcdonalds #burgerking #aandw #fastfood #fastfood #fastfoodchains #mcnuggets #happymeal #mcdonaldshacks
Many things need to be considered when judging a kids' meal. First, it's crucial to focus on the taste and quality of food because after all, it is a meal for children.
Next, I had to figure out, as a 29-year-old, which fast food chain had the most entertaining packaging.
And finally, what toys were included to entertain the child? Now, keep in mind that the toys are changing often and sometimes they might not be as fun or as dull as the ones I received during this taste test in mid November.
Fast food chains in Canada.Mira Nabulsi | Narcity
I bought a chicken nugget kids' meal from McDonald's, Burger King, A&W and Wendy's and the winner was not so obvious.
Here's how the taste test went from worst to best.
At A&W Canada, the chicken often tastes excellent because it's like something you could make at home and it's not as oily as the fare at other fast food restaurants.
However, the A&W kids' meal just isn't it.
When I ordered a Kids Chicken Strips meal from A&W (they don't have nuggets), a lot of things were not what I expected.
For starters, only two strips were in the bag compared to the four pieces you get everywhere else.
Moreover, aren't kids' meals supposed to be fun? Well, at A&W, they were served in regular paper bags without a toy. How is there no toy? That would really sadden me as a child.
Also, A&W forgot to give me my orange juice, which was also disappointing.
But, I must say, out of all the fast food restaurants in this article, they had the warmest and freshest-tasting chicken tenders and I was sad that there wasn't anything else to make it stand out.
Interestingly, when I looked up the Kids' Pack online, it comes in an adorable box, similar to the McDonald's Happy Meal, with fruits, a Make Good nutrition bar and milk. So, I'm not sure if the location by my house just ran out of them, but it was a seriously lame kids' meal.
Also, it's the most expensive choice with the least amount of stuff in the bag.
Burger King Canada.
Burger King Canada is one of my favourite fast-food restaurants because the food just tastes better than the rest. In this case, the Burger King chicken nuggets were little bites of perfection.
Each bite out of the four pieces was flavourful, crispy and warm. You didn't need to dip them into a sauce to make them better because they were delicious on their own.
However, the kids' meal came in a regular paper bag, which wasn't a fun experience. Also, the toy included in the bag was some complicated building thing that caused me stress just looking at it.
The reason Burger King wasn't my top choice in this taste test is all about the kids' chicken nugget meal, and that means we're judging the joy factor as well. The presentation and the toy fell short here, so it got bumped down.
I was also hoping to find an iconic Burger King crown in the bag, but I got a complicated paper toy instead.
McDonald's Happy Meal is a box of perfection. The meal is seriously cheerful, the box has a gigantic smile on the front of it and everything within is exciting too.
Opening the box took me back to the days when I begged my parents for a McNuggets Happy Meal as a kid.
Interestingly enough, Burger King and McDonald's have the exact same price for their respective kids' meals, but McD's has more to offer compared to their competitors.
The Happy Meal had a box with 4-piece McNuggets, small fries, Pokemon cards, yogurt and a drink.
To be honest, the nuggets weren't the best. They tasted old and cold even though I picked them up in person from my nearest McDonald's.
Also, not that girls don't enjoy Pokemon, but I don't. So, it was kind of an anticlimactic toy, in my opinion. I would've preferred getting McDonald's Monopoly stickers instead.
However, the yogurt in a tube was so good and reminded me of a version I used to eat when I was younger called Yaggo by Elle & Vire.
So overall, even though McDonald's Happy Meals are a fan-favourite, they weren't the best during this taste test.
Wendy's Kids' Meal was quite impressive, to be honest. I got the four-piece chicken nuggets with a bottle of orange juice, a dipping sauce, fries and an adorable toy.
The toy was an undercover superhero cat which, if I were a 5-year-old, I would've loved to play with.
The Wendy's bag that the food came in was entertaining too. Even though it wasn't as fancy and glossy as a McDonald's Happy Meal box, the Wendy's kids' take-out paper bag had games on it to keep a child entertained while eating.
I thought the creativity deserved some serious points, but everything in the bag was also delicious and fresh.
The chicken nuggets were round and juicy. The bites were still fresh and warm after I walked home. Each bite was super thick but also flavourful. The coating was a nice golden colour and the crispness was made to perfection.
The fries were good too, which is always great to hear.
Overall, Wendy's has the best kids' meal from fast food restaurants across Canada, in my opinion.