Fast food might be the ideal and convenient food on the go, but for growing children it must be limited. We all love a McDonald’s burger and French fries and nobody is suggesting denying your child everything at all times. However balance is the key here and this is one of the best ways to limit junk food. The sugar intake according to the American Heart Association for children is 12 grams or three teaspoons per day. When you compare that to a single12-ounce can of soda you find 40 grams or ten teaspoons of sugar and often more in shakes. Fast food, frozen dinners, canned soups and bread, all of which are convenient contain huge amounts of sugar too. Researchers, and dieticians agree that sweets and sugar must not be banned completely as this invites overindulgence and cravings. Fast foods are high in sugar, and very tempting, thus is it the parent’s responsibility to cut down on times that take-outs are bought.
Healthier fast food alternatives that work excellent for kids include the following:
Eat baked French fries that you salt slightly and grill in the oven to avoid the traditional deep fried French fries.
Instead of ice cream opt for healthier choices like fresh fruit smoothies, sorbet and yogurt.
Eat grilled or baked chicken instead of fried chicken. Instead of pastries and doughnuts enjoy home baked goods containing low sugar, English muffins and bagels.
Enjoy a handful of nuts for older children or baked vegetable chips or sweet potato chips instead of potato chips.
When you do eat out with children you have several options to limit their fat and sugar intake by watching portion sizes and sticking to the kiddies menu. When they want to eat a pizza for example opt for ordering pizza by the slice if possible too. In restaurants instead of ordering macaroni and cheese opt for chicken and vegetables. Choosing side dishes for children you should avoid rice, onion rings, fries, biscuits, chips or noodles and choose instead corn on the cob, veggies, baked potato.