Tips for Navigating a Fast Food Menu

Preschool & Older

You want to serve your child healthy meals, but sometimes cooking a sit-down dinner isn't an option. For those extra-busy nights, try our fast food tips that give you healthy options on the go. 

Offer healthy choices

Instead of asking your child what she wants to drink, let her choose between two healthy choices, like low-fat milk or water. Instead of letting her get any side, ask her if she wants apples or a side salad. You’re still giving her a choice, but from a smaller, healthy selection.

Learn the language

Before ordering, look at the restaurant's nutrition facts so you can choose healthy options. You can find this information on the restaurant's website, mobile app or on their in-store menu. Don’t have time to check? Your best bet is to look for words like grilled, baked, broiled and roasted, and words that indicate a small size, like single or junior. Skip words like fried, crispy and crunchy, and words that indicate a large size, like double.

Bigger isn't better

Fast food companies make money from upsizing meals when we should be right-sizing them. Try trimming down a double cheeseburger, large fry and large soda to a single cheeseburger with small fries and a cup of water. Or, get one order of French fries and share them as a family.

Choose a better beverage

Say “no, thank you” to the soda, juice, lemonade or smoothies. These drinks are loaded with sugar. In fact, even a small smoothie can pack 10 teaspoons of sugar! Stick with water or plain, low-fat milk instead.  

Practice what you preach

As a parent, you’re a role model. If your children see you order fries, but you only allow them fruit, you're sending a mixed message. Be the change you want to see in your children. If you want your kids to eat better, eat better with them.