Mom suing McDonald’s over Happy Meal toys. She feels that McDonalds forces parents to say “no” to their young children repeatedly and their marketing and advertising machines makes parents’ jobs harder to do. A Sacramento mother of two is suing McDonalds, alleging the toys given with the company’s Happy Meals unfairly lure kids into eating unhealthy foods. Monet Parham is teaming up with the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) in a class-action lawsuit targeted at stopping the number one fast food retailer in the world from using toys in their marketing towards small children. According to the CSPI, marketing directly to small children illegally exploits them. Parham and other parents strongly agree that the reason why their children demand and plea to go to McDonalds is to get the toys. The fast-food giant routinely uses Barbie, i-Carly, Shrek, or Strawberry Shortcake in their cross-marketing campaigns.m“I am concerned about the health of my children and feel that McDonald’s should be a very limited part of their diet and their childhood experience,” said Parham. She feels that McDonalds forces parents to say “no” to their young children repeatedly and their marketing and advertising machines makes parents’ jobs harder to do. “I object to the fact that McDonald’s is getting into my kids’ heads without my permission and actually changing what my kids want to eat,” Parham added. CSPI cites the Institute of Medicine and the American Psychological Association as saying that young kids do not have the cognitive maturity to understand the persuasive intent of advertising. “Every time McDonald’s markets a Happy Meal directly to a young child, it exploits a child’s developmental vulnerability and violates several states’ consumer protection laws,” said CSPI litigation director Steve Gardner. McDonald’s is vowing to defend against the lawsuit, which is being filed in the California Superior Court in San Francisco. “We are proud of our Happy Meals and intend to vigorously defend our brand,” spokeswoman Bridget Coffing said in a statement, adding that Happy Meals offer quality foods in smaller portions appropriate for children. “We are confident that parents understand and appreciate that Happy Meals are a fun treat, with quality, right-sized food choices for their children that can fit into a balanced diet,” she added. In recent years McDonald’s has upgraded the health profile of kids’ meals by adding chicken nuggets with white meat and offering apple slices with caramel sauce as an alternative to french fries. However the company admits that the hamburger-and-fry meals remain the most popular.