There is a reason why people love fast food: it is affordable, it is custom designed to taste ridiculously good and it is fast. Fast food is ingrained in the American culture and it’s almost impossible to resist eating fast food. What can be better than that? Would you rather sit in a fancy restaurant and wait twenty minutes for food that is going to cost you a third of your week’s wage or would you rather go to a fast food restaurant and spend a couple of dollars to be satiated in less than five minutes? For many people, it’s a simple answer: fast food trumps most dining experiences. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take some time to make smart fast food choices. Here are five tips to help your family make better choices at fast food restaurants.
1. Stick with waters instead of soda. Most people will tell you that fast food is bad for you, but the truth is that it is actually the way you eat fast food that is bad for you. Fast food has a lot of calories, but if you wash it down with large sodas, there will be even more calories and sugars. Soda is one of the easiest way to cut down calorie intake when wanting to splurge a little on fast food. So, you may want to think about ordering ice water instead of cola. If you want the sweet refreshing goodness of soda, you could order one and share it.
2. Stay away from anything that is “fried.” Regardless if the fast food restaurant freeze-dries its menu items before cooking them, you want to stay away from anything that is deep-fried or has a thick batter. Instead of ordering a crispy chicken sandwich, order the grilled version. Not only are you cutting back on the calories, but the grilled option is a much healthier choice. Even Southern cooking fast food restaurants have items on the menu that aren’t fried. Making this simple choice will make your experience a lot healthier and fulfilling.
3. Avoid add-ons. Many fast food restaurants try to get you with all the add-ons. Not only can these add-ons start to get expensive, but it can also start to verge on the edge of unhealthy. So, make sure to keep the “dollar menu” out of view. You may think you want some apple fritters because they are so cheap, but they will only be bad for you. Plus, all that extra money will start to add up, especially if you have a big family.
4. Check the prices. Fast food establishments like to advertise their prices as being fair or good, but for whom? – The fast food restaurant or your family? For instance, if you look at Little Caesars prices, you will notice that they have some great deals for families. However, if you look at other fast food establishment prices, you will notice that the prices are mainly intended for individual diners – not families. So, make sure to research prices and look for discounts.
5. Avoid heavy dressings and other sauces. While that dipping sauce may be delicious, it could actually be bad for you and your family. So, you may want to think about staying away from it. Not only are these dipping sauces fattening – they are also laden with chemicals. Avoiding the use of using ranch with your cheeseburger is a simple and healthy alternative! In the end, your food will probably taste better without these sauces.