I recently read that McDonald’s is adding a new menu item for Lent, Fish McBites. They were introduced last year as part of a limited time offer in Happy Meals “because there’s a fun poppable aspect to them.” Now they are on the menu for adults.
They come with tartar sauce and in several sizes. They are being sold as a on-the-go snack and will fit in the cup holder in your car. Do we really need this? Do we need a 500 calorie snack that fits in the cup holder so we can snack while we drive?
I know I tell patients that fish is a good protein choice, but not this fish. A 5.2 oz serving of Fish McBites contains 370 calories. Add the tartar sauce and you now have 500 calories. What else could you have for those 500 fat and sodium laden calories? Well, for starters you can sit at the table and have an entire dinner.
Dinner at Home
4 oz baked pollock (same fish as McBites)
½ cup baked sweet potato with 1 tsp butter
½ cup green beans
½ cup sugar free pudding with 2 tbsp whipped topping
McDonald’s Snack

McBites with tartar sauce
Serving Weight 14 oz 6.2 oz
Calories 360 500
Fat 9g 35g
% calories from fat 22% 63%
Sodium 390mg 790mg
Carbohydrates 40g 32g
Fiber 6g 2g
Sugar 9g 1g
Protein 34g 17g

Keep in mind that for most of us who are working on weight loss the guidelines are:
• 3 meals a day of 300-400 calories
• 2- 3 snacks a day of 50-150 calories
• Total 1050 – 1500 calories a day
A 500 calorie snack that is eaten mindlessly in the car does not fit into a successful weight loss plan. Don’t bite the hook on this marketing campaign.
Eat Smart…
Vicki Bovee, MS, RD