A dietitian walked into McDonalds. No, there’s no punchline – today I did just that. The reason? McDonalds is giving the fast food world a gourmet, high-tech facelift with their new ‘Create Your Taste’ menu.

You choose your burger ingredients, order and pay at a touch screen kiosk, and sip your drink while you wait for your fresh meal to arrive on a hipsteresque wooden board. I wanted to see how this new menu stacks up in the nutrition stakes.

With the help of a host, I opened the Create Your Taste menu on a touch screen kiosk. There is a fairly large ingredient list to choose from. Choose between a brioche or bakery bun, or no bun at all, add the number of beef patties you’d like, pick your cheese, sauces, salads and add some more gourmet options like smokey or crispy bacon, grilled pineapple or even tortilla chips.

I went with a bakery bun, one beef patty, colby jack cheese, herb aioli, tomato, lettuce and guacamole. I took my seat and waited less than five minutes before my order was delivered. And I have to admit, they’d done a good job – and the burger looked and tasted  quite different to the traditional McDonalds fare.

However the fact that you can create your own meal or burger and you have a more a gourmet style menu to choose from doesn’t necessarily mean a healthier meal, so with my dietitian’s hat on here’s a few tips for creating your own meal at Macca’s: 

  1. Don’t go overboard, the more ingredients you add the higher you bump up the overall kilojoule count, salt and fat content.
  2. Be sure to add salad, this will add flavour and taste without too many more kilojoules.
  3. If you opt for a sauce keep it to one or maybe even ask for a half serve of sauce.
  4. While you can choose the number of beef patties that make up your gourmet burger, stick with just the one it will still taste great and again help to keep kilojoules down.
  5. And if you are managing your weight I’d suggest going to a low kilojoule beverage like a diet soft drink or water to top it off.
McDonalds have come up with the future of fast food. It has the potential to be an easy option for those wishing to make more health-conscious decisions, or for those with dietary restrictions. 

However if you do give the new ‘Create Your Taste’ menu a go try not to let the novelty get the best of you, unless you’re going nuts with the salad options, that is.