Does your child’s love for fast food worry you? Firstly, accept that your kid may enjoy junk food, banning them will only increase the appeal of these foods. Instead, give burgers, pizza, samosas, cutlets and sandwiches a healthy boost with fresh ingredients such as whole grain cereals, vegetables and low-fat dairy products to ensure your kid’s nutritional needs are met even when they indulge in fast food. There are also some low-fat and nutritious alternatives that kids enjoy eating.
The Fast Food Checklist
As the name implies, fast food is food that can be prepared quickly. Fast food includes burgers, samosas, hot dogs, pizzas, kebabs, sandwiches, cutlets, pakodas and any other fried foods that are easily available at restaurants and stores that are an alternative to home-cooked meals. Not all fast foods are necessarily high in fat and low on nutrition. However, fast food chains and take-away outlets tend to offer products that are higher in fat and less balanced. If you choose dishes that include the following, you can be assured that you've made the right choice:
- A cereal product - wholegrain or multi-grain preferably
- Fruit or/and vegetables
- Low-fat dairy product
That's one way to boost the goodness in fast food.
Twist the Treat
What sounds good in theory often doesn't work in practice. Kids can rarely be convinced by being told something is "good for them". It's best to lead by example. With the tips below, you can add your own healthy zing to your favourite fast foods. However keep in mind, fast foods should only be consumed occasionally.
Healthy Fast Food Options
If you're in a hurry, you can find perfectly acceptable fast foods at your local bakery or take-away joint, or you can prepare fast food for yourself and your kids at home. Here are a few healthy fast food options you can cook up in a jiffy:
- Mixed salad with lots of vegetables, fruits with low fat yoghurt dressing or boiled eggs
- Bhelpuri is a healthy Indian snack that you can consider when hunger strikes. It consists of puffed rice, sliced onions, potatoes and sauces. Add peanuts, pomegranates, grated carrot and diced cucumber to give it a healthy touch
- Dahiwada (bite-sized cutlets immersed in yoghurt) is another healthy snack
- Vegetable baked dishes
- Wholegrain pasta, brown rice or dishes with low-fat sauces
- Soups and stews. Opt for MAGGI HEALTHY Soups which are made using fresh vegetable purees
- Homemade kebabs and cutlets fried in olive oil with plenty of fresh vegetables, multi-grain bread, low-fat meat such as chicken,or fish fingers or, low-fat homemade paneer nibbles (cottage cheese)