Healthier Fast Food Eating Habits for Your Kids
Most people understand that fast food is mostly unhealthy. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t some value to be had there or that you need to eliminate it completely from your diet. The same holds true for kids. They can still eat fast food and be healthy, but you have to follow some simple rules to make sure they remain healthy.
Moderation Is the Key
Fast food won’t make your kids obese or unhealthy if you allow them to enjoy it in moderation. That means that a couple times a month is not a bad frequency. If they are eating at fast food restaurants every day, then you need to make some immediate changes. But it is okay to have occasional visits to these restaurants.
When your kids eat out, you also want to make sure that they are eating in moderation. They may want the large fries, the large soda and dessert at the end, but you need to learn when enough is enough. Set boundaries and make sure they know what those boundaries are. There is already enough sugar in most of the food that having dessert at the end is going to be a bit overboard.
How much they can have in one sitting should depend on how often they eat out. Also keep in mind that some meals are where your growing kids are going to really stock up and load up on calories. Know when those meals are and try to avoid eating out for those meals.
Choose Healthier Options
Just because you are eating out it does not mean that your kids have to eat unhealthy foods. The easiest part of the fast food meal to make healthier is the beverage. Your kids may ask for soda every time you go out to eat, but you certainly don’t have to give it to them. They can make due with juice or water instead. That way, they can drink as much of it as they like and not become unhealthier for it. They will likely need plenty to drink since so much of the fast food they eat is covered in salt.
You can also consider choosing healthier fast food restaurant or just healthier entrée options. A lot of what Subway and Pizza Hut offer is geared toward healthy eaters. There are entire sections of their menus devoted to healthy options. Let your kids choose from those menus instead of the larger, mostly unhealthy ones.
Making sure your kids eat healthy is all about setting those boundaries and abiding by them. You can make those boundaries a little wider and be a bit more lax with what they can have when you eat out of eating fast food is a rarity. It all depends on how healthy you want your kids to be and how restrictive you feel their eating needs to be in accordance with what they usually eat.
Get the Kids Involved
If you want your kids to enjoy eating healthy, then try to get them to make some of the healthy choices. We mentioned letting them have a choice from the healthy side of the menu, but you can also expand the choices they can make.
You could perhaps let them chose which restaurant to eat at, knowing full well that there will be limits placed on what they can order when they go there. Or you can tell them that they can choose one item from the entire menu, but the rest have to be healthy choices. These give your kids some freedom and let them still enjoy the eating out experience without letting it get out of hand.
Just look for ways you can get them interested in eating healthy even during times when it is difficult to do so. If nothing else, you can bring along some of your own healthy snacks to complement their fast food meal. This can be a great way to ensure they are finding healthy food they enjoy without limiting your options too much. The fast food restaurants likely won’t have a problem with what you bring so long as you buy something there as well.