Many of us are on the road this summer, heading to hiking trails, taking road trips with our families, or driving our kids to sleep away camp. It can be tempting to stop in for fast food when hunger strikes, but how can you select menu items that are good for you and your family?
We all stop at side-of-the-road restaurants every now and then. But instead of beating ourselves up about being perfect when we feed our families, let’s simply aim for progress.
Making Better Fast Food Choices
- There are lots of sizing options available at fast food restaurants, but the average person doesn’t need to eat anything more than the small or regular sized items
- Beware of common up-selling phrases, such as “want fries with that?” or “can I super-size your order?” While these might seem like a good deal for your wallet, they are NOT a good deal for your waistline.
- If saving money is your objective, share a larger order with one or two other people.
- By going large on your order, you can increase the calorie count of your order by over 500 calories, not to mention extra fat, cholesterol and sodium.
- Sodas are empty calories, opt for a calorie-free beverage instead
- By buying a McChicken Sandwich instead of a Big Mac, you can save 190 calories and 14 grams of fat
- By downsizing your coffee order and opting for skim milk instead of whole milk, you can save over 200 calories and 18 grams of fat
- While tuna sandwiches may seem healthy, the extra mayo they add can contribute a surprisingly high number of calories. At Subway, opt for the 6-inch turkey breast sandwich instead, saving you 250 calories and 26.5 grams of fat! Yikes.
Avoid Buying Snacks on the Road
If you don’t want to be stuck with the snacking options available at the gas station, it helps to think ahead. I love Aimee’s suggestions for delicious snacks you can make at home, and bring with you, putting you in the driver’s seat when it comes to the ingredients you are feeding your family on the road.
Thanks to Kim Gorman, MS, RD for her information about calories and fat in fast food restaurants.
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