In an effort to help stave off childhood obesity, McDonald’s announced Monday that its iconic Happy Meals are getting a healthy tune-up.

Traditionally, the meals included a burger or chicken nuggets, fries and a soda. But starting this fall, a fruit or vegetable will also be in the shiny box.

Parents have always had the option to choose fruit over french fries, but now kids will get both — albeit a much smaller packet of fries, which will be less than half the size of the current 2.4 ounce serving. If you’d rather cut the fries out altogether, a double-serving of the fruits or vegetables will be available upon request.

Also, unless you specifically ask for a soda, you’ll get one percent milk or fat-free chocolate milk instead.

McDonald’s says all these changes will shave 20 percent off the total calories of its current Happy Meal. The overhauled meals are also 15 percent lower in sodium and 20 percent lower in saturated fat.

The new Happy Meals will be available in some locations by September of this year, and nationwide by April, 2012.

Now that the iconic menu item we all know and grew up with is changing, we thought it’d be a good time to walk down memory lane and watch some vintage commercials featuring the happy meal. Enjoy!

[Daily Finance]