Eating Fast Foods the Healthy Way
As a parent, you have a strong influence over how much fast food your child eats. Find out how to set some guidelines to follow when eating out that will teach them how to make healthy choices as adults.
In the 'olden days' there were no video games or televisions. People ate all their meals at home or sometimes at another family's home. All the food was prepared from scratch and a lot was home grown. Most families would only go out to eat if it was a very special occasion. Times have changed and now we are often referred to as the 'fast food nation.' Everyday, one out of every four children eat fast food and nearly half of all of us eat fast food more than once a week. We do this primarily because of convenience and because it's less expensive than going to a restaurant. Let's face it, children love fast food meals because it comes in a colorful box, it's served quickly and, most importantly, it comes with a toy!
Fast food chains spend a huge amount of money on marketing to get the attention of children. They know that most people form their eating habits as children so they try to shape these 'future customers' as best as they can. They spend so much money on marketing to children that according to Eric Schlosser, author of the book "Fast Food Nation", 96% of children can identify Ronald McDonald. The only other fictional character that is better identified by children is Santa Claus!
Why do we as parents visit these places? Well, our lives are more hectic than ever between school, sports, work and friends. Who has time to think about what to eat? The good news is that you can still enjoy an occasional meal from fast food restaurants by learning how to make smart choices. As a parent, you have a strong influence over how much your child eats. Setting some guidelines to follow when eating out will teach them how to make healthy choices as adults.
There are some tricks that can help make any fast food meal better for you and your family. Follow these tips to cut down on fat, sodium, sugar, overall calories and make your meal healthier: