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    Make and Take Meals: Fast-Food Alternatives

    Good nutrition and good fast food can go hand in hand.

    Healthy Fast Food: At Home

    Stock Your Cabinets With Fast, Nutritious Food

    Planning helps you pull your own fast-food act together. Get out the calendar and figure out your food needs for the week ahead. Make a quick list. Now it's time to shop. Consider stocking:

    • Whole-grain breads and cereals, pasta, and prepared pizza crust.
    • Milk, reduced-fat shredded cheese, eggs, canned tuna, canned beans, peanut butter, lean ground beef patties, chicken, and meatballs.
    • Fresh, frozen, or no-added-salt canned vegetables; fresh and dried fruit; and fruit canned in juice.
    • Quick-cooking grains such as 10-minute brown rice and whole-wheat couscous.
    • Cartons of 100% orange juice, milk, applesauce, peanut butter, and yogurt in your fridge and cabinets. These work great for road trips, too.

    Work the Weekends

    Just a couple of hours spent cooking main courses one or two weekends a month works wonders for whipping up fast and healthy food on hectic weeknights. Tips to try:

    • Let your slow cooker save you time. Throw the ingredients for chili or beef stew in and turn to other activities.
    • Roast a chicken or turkey. This frees you up to concentrate on projects around the house, too.
    • Put together a pan or two of lasagna.
    • Make double batches of anything you cook, and freeze half.

    Super Sandwich Suppers

    Sandwiches can help you get supper on the table super fast. For tasty fast-food alternatives, try:

    • Pre-formed lean beef burger patties or veggie burgers. Serve on whole-grain buns. Pair with cooked frozen carrots and peas; fruit; and milk.
    • Barbecue pulled pork served on whole grain buns with corn and fruit on the side.
    • Tuna melts with reduced-fat cheese on whole-wheat bread, and salad.
    • Quesadillas made with low-fat cheese, fat-free refried beans, and leftover chicken served with a green salad.

    Breakfast for Dinner

    "Eggs are the basis of several quick and nutritious dinners," Neville says. For example, try:

    • Scrambled eggs served in whole-wheat pita pockets with salsa and low-fat grated cheese; salad; milk or 100% juice, such as orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
    • Whole-grain French toast, applesauce for dipping, and milk.
    • Omelets made with leftover cooked vegetables and served with whole-grain rolls, fruit and milk.
    • Hard cook a half dozen eggs. Toss them in salads, or use them for grab-and-go snacks or lunch.

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