Easy Alternatives for the Drive-Thru

Preschool & Older

Strong4Life is giving restaurants a run for their money with some “fast food” meals of our own. Our meals are just as quick and budget-friendly (actually, some are quicker and cheaper!)—plus, they’re good for you.

Compare these fast food facts with our DIY "Fast Food Fixes" for a family of four. Then, say goodbye to the drive-thru!

Fried chicken substitution

Fast Food Meal
Eight-piece fried chicken meal with macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, four biscuits and four medium sweet teas
Price: $28.62

This meal is loaded with 45g of fat, 17 teaspoons of added sugars and more than 3,000mg of sodium (salt) per person’s serving—more than an adult should have in an entire day.

Strong4Life Fast Food Fix
One rotisserie chicken, two bags frozen broccoli, four whole-wheat rolls, one carton fresh strawberries and four cups low-fat milk
Price: $14.61
Savings: $14.01

Grabbing a ready-to-go hot and delicious rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store is a great way to save time and money. Look for frozen veggies in steamer bags you can put right in the microwave for a quick and healthy side. Fresh strawberries and the whole-wheat roll add important vitamins, minerals and fiber. Serve it all up with a cup of low-fat milk, and you have a well-balanced and healthy meal.

Burger and nuggets substitution

Fast Food Meal
Two quarter-pound burgers with cheese meals, including medium fries and soda, plus two chicken nuggets meals with fries, apple slices and soda
Price: $20.72

A quarter-pound burger with cheese, fries and a soda might sound like a reasonable portion for mom and dad, but it’s still much more food than anyone needs in a single meal. And these kids' meals pack 75 percent of your child's daily recommended intake for saturated fat (the unhealthy kind), and more than half of the daily limit for sodium (salt). The kids’ meal offers only 2g of fiber, and virtually no vitamin A or calcium for growing bodies.

Strong4Life Fast Food Fix
Easy Slow Cooker Chicken and Veggies, one boil-in-the-bag brown rice (2-cup size), and one large can of peaches in 100 percent juice or water
Price: $13.59
Savings: $7.13 
(save even more by using thighs instead of chicken breasts)

Load up your slow cooker for a quick meal! Add fresh chicken and veggies to your slow cooker in the morning and let it do the work for you! The instant brown rice (look for no seasonings or extra salt) adds whole grains and fiber to your meal within minutes. Pop open the can of peaches, pour a cool glass of water, and pat yourself on the back for making an easy, nutritious meal.

Pizza substitution

Fast Food Meal
One large pepperoni pizza, one order of breadsticks and a 2-liter soda 
Price: $21.63

Not only is this meal missing foods from the veggie and fruit groups, it has nearly 1,750mg of sodium per person’s serving—that’s more than any child should have in an entire day! It’s also low in protein and fiber, and the soda adds another 16 teaspoons of sugar per person.

Strong4Life Fast Food Fix
DIY veggie pizza, side of apple slices, baby carrots and low-fat milk
Price: $14.44
Savings: $7.19

Pick up a pre-made pizza crust (ideally, whole wheat), canned or jarred tomato or pizza sauce, a bag of part-skim mozzarella cheese and a bag of pre-cut veggies (fresh spinach leaves, frozen sliced bell peppers, whatever you like). Assemble your pizza within minutes, bake for 8-10 minutes and dinner is done! Serve with baby carrots and apples to add vitamins and minerals without adding work. Pour a glass of low-fat milk, and you’ve served a quick, balanced meal without waiting for the delivery guy!