If you’re a parent, you know that the school year and all the extracurricular activities that come with it can make weekdays really crowded—not to mention weekends packed with sports, play dates, and must-attend parties. In an ideal world, you would have the time, energy, and resources to prepare healthy food for your kids at every meal, but when life is busy, that may not always be possible.
On the busiest days when you’re in trouble, fast food can be an easy, affordable and accessible solution to making sure your kids have something to eat. Unfortunately, a lot of junk food is full of sodium, saturated fat, and added sugar, which can be harmful if eaten on a regular basis.
In an effort to learn more about the healthy fast food options that busy parents can have for their kids in question, we asked nutritionists to think about the meals they recommend. Read on, and for more healthy tips, check out 9 best fast food deals that feed the whole family.
Chick-fil-A may be best known for its chicken sandwich, but it also offers plenty of healthy, nutrient-dense meal options.
“Kids’ meal with grilled chicken nuggets, a side of fruit, and milk is a nutrient-dense meal devoid of saturated fat. It’s rare to find a quick meal that isn’t fried, and this one is appropriately portioned for little tummies” Lauren Manaker, MS, RDNand author A first-time mommy-to-be cookbook And the Male fertility nutrition. “While the coins are on the higher side when it comes to sodium, they can be part of a healthy diet as long as the rest of the day is relatively lower in this mineral.”
Some people may not think of Chipotle as fast food. However, if you have time to get out of the car and go inside, you can be in and out of the Mexican restaurant with a healthy kids’ meal in about 15 minutes or less.
“I love Chipotle’s ‘making-your-own’ option because you can keep it really simple and also have fresh, healthy ingredients,” he says. Cassie Barnesresearch and development. “You can have options like chicken, brown rice, beans, cheese, lettuce, and guacamole. All the things I will regularly serve my kids! The thing I will be looking for is sodium because it can build up quickly, especially when I add salsa to the meal.”
The subway has Children’s List It includes a 4-inch sandwich served on mini Hearty Multigrain bread with fresh veggies, a side of applesauce, and a choice of milk or Honest Kids Fruit Punch. On the sandwich, your kid can choose between blackened pork, turkey, and roast beef, or go completely meatless with the Veggie Delite. This meal keeps the saturated fats, added sugar, and sodium fairly low and provides a boost of protein, too.
Starbucks is another option that people may not consider when it comes to needing a quick and cheap meal. However, you can have a delicious snack for your kids while sipping this PSL.
“many of [Starbucks’] Barnes says protein boxes are kid-friendly and contain a good mix of healthy ingredients. “I also recommend the oatmeal with blueberries, but I skip the two puffs of the agave syrup that comes with it to reduce added sugar, or cut it into one. It comes with nuts too for protein and healthy fats.”
It’s a little strange to see McDonald’s on a healthy fast food menu, but eating a Happy Meal and tweaking it can make it a decent option when alternatives are limited.
If you choose chicken nuggets, replace the fries with the apple slices. Also, if you replace soda with a bottle of milk or water instead, your kids will still get some protein, fiber, and other beneficial nutrients while keeping the saturated fat lower than some other fast food options. Again, this meal isn’t exactly ‘healthy“It’s enough that we recommend making it a staple, but it’s a safe option on days when you need a quick, cheap meal on the go.
#quick #healthy #kids #meals #busy #school #days