Sunday, March 4, 2012

7 Healthier Fast Food Options for Kids

I will be the first to admit that I love pizza. Although, I'd prefer to cook for my family there are times when the only thing around that won't bust your wallet or satiate your tantrum throwing kids is hitting the drive-thru.

It is 2012, afterall. There are more businesses that cater to "quick, easy and cheap" rather than "healthy, transparent and looking out for our best interests".

Look around, realistically it's sometimes easier go the fast food route. And hey, fast food is cheap—if you’re not counting the health costs down the road, that is. But, believe it or not, it is possible to come away from a fast food menu with something that’s both cheap and healthy-ish. Learnvest is a site I like for getting my budgeting and investing tips, but it's also a site that has articles that cater to moms and how to live life richly.

If we’re going to do fast food, we figure we might as well make an informed decision. Luckily, researchers at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity have done most of the legwork for us. The center researchers analyzed the calories, fat, sugar and sodium in more than 3,000 possible combinations that chains market as “kids’ meals,” and ranked them as best and worst using a few different factors, one of which was the guidelines set in 2009 by the Institute of Medicine:

- Preschool children should consume no more than 410 calories and 544 milligrams of sodium per meal

- Elementary school children should consume no more than 650 calories and 636 milligrams of sodium per meal

- Older children should consume no more than 700 calories and 720 milligrams of sodium per meal

See the full slideshow and read more on Learnvest.

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