Sunday, December 12, 2010

Smart Fast Food Eating

Here is the latest email from Dr. Jacobs.

Fast Food Figured Out
By: Elana Zimelman, R.D., L.D., C.D.E., Cooper Clinic Nutrition

All too often we find ourselves without the time to cook a meal because of our on-the-go lifestyles. If you find yourself needing to cruise through the closest drive-thru, read these healthy guidelines on choosing the best meals for the family.
Picture this: You just picked up your daughter from school and you’re running her to soccer practice. Your son needs to get to his basketball game. You have less than an hour and there’s no time to waste!

Everyone needs to eat but the question is where and what? Does this sound all too familiar? Finding better fast food picks for your family can be easier than you think. All you need are some go-to guidelines and simple planning.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Plan ahead. Many fast food restaurants post nutrition information on their Web sites. Sift through to pick out the healthiest options at each of your favorite places. You may also go to healthydiningfinder.com and calorieking.com for additional nutrition information.

2. Communicate and compromise. When the goal is to feed your family more healthful options, it’s very important to incorporate changes slowly and subtly. Sit down as a family and pre-select from the menus you’ve downloaded online so it’s not a huge surprise to your kids what options they have when you arrive at the drive-thru.

3. Avoid food fights. Your daughter will insist on McDonald’s while your son begs for Wendy’s. Let’s avoid the conflict by having you as the parent decide where to go. Definitely offer choices that you all have pre-selected off the menu.

4. Choices, choices. At this point your family has done their homework and you all know the options. Keep it simple and offer choices. For example ask if they would like “choice A” or “choice B.”

5. Set an example. You want to pick a healthier option for yourself too.
Taking our advice to heart? Here are some healthful options at some fast food favorites.

Top picks for 500 calories of less:

McDonald’s:
Grilled Chicken Sandwich (no mayo)
Apple Dippers with Low-Fat Caramel Dip
1% Low-Fat Milk

Wendy’s:
Jr. Hamburger
Mandarin Orange Dup
2% Reduced Fat Milk

Subway:
Turkey Breast 6-Inch Sub
Apple Slices
Dannon Strawberry Yogurt
Bottled Water

Chic-fil-A:
Chicken-Nuggets (6)
Honey Mustard Sauce (2 packets)
Fresh Fruit Cup
2% Reduced Fat Milk

Taco Bell:
2 Beef Soft Taco, “Fresco”
Mexican Rice, “Fresco”
Water

It’s a win-win for everyone. You can help your family fuel up with good-tasting nutrition value, less fuss, and convenience on the way home. When you can, try fitting in family meals at home more often than not. Your kids will thank you (if not now) later.

For more information on nutrition consultations visit www.cooper-clinic.com or call 972-560-2655.

4 comments:

Stephanie said...

Thanks for sharing, Jennifer! I have such a HUGE problem when it comes to fast food. It's something I have to work on controlling every single day. Great information.

Nicole said...

I like this because it confirms the fact that we ARE human and occasionally you are just going to have to eat fast food. Great options, thanks for posting!

Living a Changed Life said...

Stephanie - You're welcome. It was a very bad habit that took me a long time to break, but it is worth it!

Nicole - You're welcome. At some point we are all going to eat fast food and need to be able to make good choices.

fast food packaging said...

One of the most popular chain of fast food have begun to offer Mandarin as a side option which is much healthier and less caloric than french fries or loaded potato French bakery. They also offer side salads with light dressings, and has a pretty small menu of salads with low fat content that would encourage the taste of each. In fact is probably has one of the best salad menus of any popular fast food chain right now in my opinion.

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