You have options: choosing healthy foods on the run

Due to convenience, preference or habit, eating fast food is likely a reality for many families. Let’s face it, scrambling home from work only to rush to soccer or piano practice doesn’t leave a lot of time to find a healthful, well-balanced meal.

If you decide to pick up fast food, know that there are always choices you can make that are better than others. Plus, many fast food restaurants now offer healthful fast food options.

Next time you’re on the go, try these options:

  • Choose a fruit or vegetable option or yogurt instead of French fries as a side. This will increase your servings of fruits, vegetables or dairy foods.
  • Remember: Bigger isn’t better so don’t oversize your meal. It can change it from healthful to hazardous in just a few bites. Even better, choose the smallest portion size available or split a meal with a family member.
  • Always choose low-fat milk or water with your meal even when eating out.
  • Choose items that are grilled and baked over ones that are breaded and fried.

Fast food restaurants do offer quick and easy ways to eat when the schedule is packed. Just be sure to choose healthful options and read the nutritional information when you can.

Use our Health Powered Kids lesson, “Fast food alert” to help kids think about how to make better food and drink choices when eating at fast food restaurants.

For more information about understanding food labels, check out our Healthy Set Go blog, “How to read a food label”, by Liz Vander Laan, RD.

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