As part of a “Prescription for a Healthier, Active Life” for children and families, the American Academy of Pediatrics to encourages these four basic components of the 5210 program:
- Eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day.
- Limit screen time to 2 hours or less per day.
- Get 1 hour or more of physical activity every day.
- Drink fewer or 0 sugar-sweetened drinks.
Are you always on the go? Do you frequent the drive thru, resigned to make unhealthy eating choices?
Did you know that some simple planning can go a long way in building healthier eating habits into a busy lifestyle? It really doesn’t have to be complicated and doesn’t require you to spend long hours preparing meals in your kitchen.
When you know that you are going to be in a car most of the day, you can pack some essentials into a cooler ahead of time, avoiding the need for that fast food fix. Select healthy snacks that will give you an energy boost during the day and prevent you from overeating at meals. A few suggestions are frozen grapes, protein bars, hard boiled eggs, orange slices, walnuts, sunflower seeds or sliced apples.
Don’t forget to bring plenty of water. If you drink water throughout the day instead of soda, you will cut out many empty calories.
What if you forgot to pack lunch (or didn’t have time to grocery shop) and fast food is your only option? Luckily, thanks to an increasing demand from health-conscious customers, more restaurants are offering healthier choices. If you are going to a drive thru, always avoid deep-fried foods and high-calorie sauces. Following are some better choices, which will fill you up without packing on the pounds:
- McDonald’s—Asian Salad with grilled chicken, Newman’s Own low-fat balsamic vinaigrette, Fruit ’n Yogurt Parfait (no granola) 470 calories, 36 g protein, 52 g carbs, 15 g fat and 5 g fiber.
- Wendy’s—Mandarin Chicken Salad, low-fat honey mustard dressing, low-fat strawberry yogurt (no granola) 420 calories, 29 g protein, 66 g carbs, 6.5 g fat and 3 g fiber.
- Arby’s—Chicken Fillet Sandwich (grilled, hold the mayo), fruit cup. 344 cals, 31 g protein, 45 g carbs, 5.5 g fat and 3 g fiber.
- Burger King—BK Veggie Burger (hold the mayo and cheese) and Mott’s strawberry flavored apple sauce. 430 calories, 23 g protein, 69 g carbs, 8 g fat and 7 g fiber.
- Pizza Hut—2 slices 12” Fit ’N Delicious Pizza—diced chicken, red onion and green pepper. 340 calories, 18 g protein, 46 g carbs 10 g fat, & 2 g fiber.
- Subway—Turkey Breast 6” Sandwich, Veggie Delite Salad, fat-free dressing. 375 calories, 22 g protein, 65 g carbs, 5.5 g fat & 7 g fiber.
- Chick-fil-A—Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich, large fruit cup—370 calories, 29 g protein, 59 g carbs, 3.5 g fat & 6 g fiber.
Actually, all of the sandwiches at Chick-fil-A come in below the 500-calorie mark, but the Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich is the lowest in calories at 270. If you ask for no sauce, you can save another 60 more calories. Just remember to skip the waffle fries and substitute the fruit cup for only 100 calories and/or the side salad with only 70 calories without the dressing. For a drink, opt water, unsweetened tea or diet lemonade, which is made with Splenda.
Eating on the go certainly can be challenging to anyone who is trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, it can be done with some simple planning and by making good decisions.
Chick-fil-A and many other fast food restaurants provide complete nutritional information in their stores on their Web sites, so you can figure out how many calories and how much fat are in your favorite meals.