Fast food is a convenient and fun way of eating. But can it be healthy eating?
Are too many ‘Happy Meals’ one of the reasons more kids today are overweight?
The increase in families substituting a family meal with a trip to McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, etc. is very likely one of the causes for the increase in overweight kids, but it’s not the only cause. Other factors also play a role, including an increased time watching TV and playing video games and a decreased time in physical activity as well as unhealthy food choices.
The choice you make when eating fast food can also determine how healthy or ‘unhealthy’ it will be.
How can you make fast food healthier?
One of the easiest ways to make fast food healthier is to be careful of your portion sizes and understand how many calories and how much fat you add to a meal when you ‘super-size’ your order. It might seem like better ‘value’ to go with the special or large meal sizes, but you must also think about what the extra calories will cost you later as your child tries to burn them off in order to lose weight.
Healthier Eating Choices
Further to choosing smaller portion sizes, checking the menus at your favorite fast food restaurants will likely help you to find other low calorie, low fat alternatives to traditional fast foods which are really healthy. This could include a salad, baked potato, or grilled chicken salad.
With other sorts of fast food, such as pizza, choose a thin crust cheese pizza and try to avoid adding lots of cheese or extra meat toppings.
It can also help your child to be healthier if you avoid ‘fast food’ at more traditional restaurants that you visit. It unfortunately seems like almost every restaurant, whether Italian, Chinese, Mexican, etc. has a kids’ menu with high fat and high calorie foods, like chicken nuggets, french fries, etc.
Instead of always relying on the kid’s menu, why not consider getting a half order or child plate of a more traditional and healthier item at the same restaurant?
John Rifkind is a contributing editor at FitnessHealthArticles.com. This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.