Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fast Food and My Kids

Once you have children, you find time is in a crunch.  Some days you are having a little too much fun at the Childrens' Museum when you realize that it is lunch time... and you didn't pack one.  You are more than a 20 minute drive from home, which will surely send the kid into a hunger tizzy.  Then there on the horizon, you see it.  The golden arches.  Why are they always so strategically placed?  It is like someone researched the location.  Oh, yeah.  They probably do!

So what is any health concious mom supposed to do in this case.  The kid obviously needs food.  And buckling them into a car seat, to stop and get them out somewhere is really not any more ideal than fast food.  For one, there will be a wait.  It is inevitable.  But fast food exists for people in this situation - because it is fast and there is no need to get out of the car.

If I MUST go, I rarely induldge in a kids' meal.  For one thing, we almost always have waters with us in the car.  No reason to spend extra on 8 oz of milk that you can surely replace at home.  Also, I have ZERO need for a crappily made toy knock-off that is included.  Yeah, yeah - Hasbro or Mattel's name is on it, but let's be realistic.  It will break within the first week, and now you have to deal with the sad kid.  No thanks.  While many of the meals have a fruit versus french fries option, someone at a certain fast food restaurant decided they would now include both.  My only guess is because they hope to hook them young.  Well, guess what, that pretty much seals the deal for me that I WILL NOT buy your Happy Meal, McD.  Oops!  I guess I let that one slip.  Oh, well.  Not like you don't know it.  Funny, but the only time K-Man gets a kids' meal is on a trip.  I have him convinced that they only sell them when we travel - LMAO, at least until he is able to read!

Since I was writing this post, I decided to see where my choices stacked up against one another.  My go-to meal is a plain double cheeseburger. I take one burger off without the bun for Mini-Me and give the cheeseburger and bun to the K-Man.  I also order whatever fruit the restaurant offers.  The beef patties all run around the same in calories and fat, but the bun and cheese varies from location to location.  The single burger and cheese on a bun runs anywhere from 270 calories to 340.  This is roughly the same as a 6 piece order of chicken nuggets.  However, those are deep fried.  My kids little bellies do not tolerate fried foods from my unfortunate experience.  So while the calories aren't fabulous, it is still a better option than fried anything.

A better choice if your kids will eat it, is something with grilled chicken on it.  At McDs, I like a plain grilled chicken snack wrap.  The chicken is 1.5 oz of breast and only 45 calories without the wrap, which up until press wouldn't be eaten by my kids anyway LOL.  I particularly like when any option has their summer salads with berries and grilled chicken.  My kids love berries and will eat the chicken.  I eat the salad.  BK offers a veggie burger that is lower in calories and fat.  I like them for myself and the Mini-Me also indulges without all the slop on it.

someecards.com - Thanks for not treating me to fast food for that dinner you owed me. If you are lucky enough to live in Chick-fil-A land, you can get grilled chicken nuggets.  But, SIGH... upstate NY has yet to discover the CFA wonder.  And Arby's actually has a viable option in the Jr Roast Beef sandwich.  The calories again match that of the burger, but the fat is significantly lower!  The bottom line though is that if you want to avoid this dilemma altogether, you have to plan.  We are heading out to do errands that are likely going to carry us into lunch.  I have lunch and snacks packed in a small softsided cooler - just in case.  If not, we can have ourselves a little picnic when we get back. 

How do you avoid the arches?






9 comments:

  1. I LOVE CFA!!! I avoid McD's, but dont have kids... and also have CFA... I rotate between grilled nuggets and salad... or on cheat meals the fried nuggets.

    I really only eat CFA as a fast food, I feel like its the healthiest. I never take for granted that I have that option though, I love it!

    It sounds like you have made your McD's trip as healthy as you can with kids though, so kudos to you! :)

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    1. CFA was so nice. I have a moment of silence every now and then for not having one now LOL

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  2. For us, it is always the grilled chicken snack wraps. No fries. Water. On treat days, a soft cone. That's a big treat in our world.

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    1. So I am not the only "mean" mom! Actually, he doesn't even think I am because he knows nothing different.

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  3. I am big on packing lunch and snacks. Our travel cooler is my BFF! I try to avoid all fast food since their only veggie option is a French fry.
    Packing is also majorly helpful when my LO is spending time with family. It takes the guess work out of what to feed them and keeps them from resorting to happy meals. This way I know they're eating a well balanced meal and healthy snacks while I'm away.

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    1. Actually, most places have a fruit options - small bags of peeled apples or mandarin oranges. I think CFA has a fruit medley that had grapes. We never do fries. The smell of them - ick! It is all in the planning. I think I forgot, since my oldest is out of that must eat this second phase. But I definitely need to be more prepared for the 18 mo old.

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  4. I think about how the meat isn't the kind of meat I would prepare at home. How the sanitary conditions in the place may not be up to par, how human error could give me the wrong food. How the cheese probably isn't actual real cheddar. Whether they buy chicken from a place that is cruelty free---etc. usually I gross myself out enough to skip all together. My go-to is a grilled cheese from sonic, and that's only if I can ignore all of the above that applies. HAHA my husband just rolls his eyes.

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    1. Thanks for those thoughts, Samantha! Now I am royally screwed LOL. PS - No Sonic here either as far I know.

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    2. Sonics tag line is "America's drive in" or something. And as far as I know they're not anywhere in the north. Strange!!

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Thanks for leaving a comment! Look forward to more :) ~ Susan