May 3, 2013 by thehealthyheartcenter
For many families sometimes it is just not realistic to have a sit-down, home-cooked meal every night. Whether there are sports practice/games to attend, getting caught up at the office, or just simply not planning ahead, there are ways to eat fast, but smart.
The ultimate convenience is undoubtedly “fast food.” Whether this is a convenience store, a drive-thru, or a restaurant, this type of food tends to be the go-to on hectic nights. Although consuming these foods in moderation is okay, still be sensible!
- SHARE: This is one of the best ways to control excess calories and excess portions. We all crave fries from time to time, but do we really need the entire basket? (….The answer is no!)
- VARIETY: Try not to neglect any of the food groups. As often as possible choose the leaner proteins (chicken, turkey, or fish), a vegetable (salad, baked potato, steamed veggies), dairy (low-fat milk instead of soda), and when given the choice, opt for whole grains (whole wheat bread, whole wheat wrap, brown rice).
- SUBSTITUTE: Avoid wasting your calories on sugar-sweetened beverages and opt for water, milk, or unsweetened iced tea. Instead of that side of fries, ask for a side salad. Or instead of a loaded with sugar dessert, choose fruit.
- BALANCE: If you’re main meal is a higher-fat choice, then choose a lower-fat side. If you’re just dying for a hamburger, don’t deprive yourself, instead balance it with a side salad or fruit– even McDonald’s has sliced apples to replace fries!
How to shop for quick nights at home…
- Use What You Have: It takes less than a minute to fix a sandwich with reduced-fat meat and cheese if you have the ingredients. Check the Nutrition Facts Label on packaged meats because many deli meats are high in fat (aim for < 2 grams saturated fat). Quesadillas can be made in 30 seconds flat in the microwave with a whole grain tortilla and reduced-fat cheddar cheese.
- Shop for Healthier Meals: Although majority frozen foods are not considered an ideal choice, they can ultimately be life-savers when you just don’t have the option to cook. Try Kidfresh, an awesome frozen food product that are ultimately geared toward offering kid-friendly meals, hidden with vegetables! All products are low in calories, fat, and sodium, and a good source of fiber.