Healthier Fast Food Choices

Finding the time to eat healthily can be difficult when it may seem like there are more interesting ways to spend our time (or more interesting things to eat). However it is not necessary to cook super-healthy meals from scratch to ensure that you and your family are eating a good range of healthy, balanced foods.

Improve your health by making smarter choices when eating out or ordering a takeaway/delivery and stock your kitchen with foods that are quick and easy to prepare.

Take care with Takeaways

Share – plan on decanting the food onto a plate and eating the same portion as you would eat if you were cooking for yourself. This way you may be able to order less and share one main dish and add some side dishes (like vegetables, salad, rice).

Saucy calories – by avoiding the creamy sauces or oily dressings that accompany takeaway meals you may be able to avoid lots of the calories. For example, leave aside the excess sauce that comes with a curry by spooning the food you want onto your plate (enough to keep you satisfied) rather than pouring the whole lot onto your plate. Similarly, add just half of the sachet of creamy dressing or oil that accompanies your salad t lunchtime.

Shop wisely

Microwave ready meals – try to choose ready meals that provide about 450  calories per portion and add a side salad. I like that ready meals are portion controlled – that is, I cant go back for seconds

Balance – try to choose ready meals with a range of ingredients – such as a salad with prawns, vegetables and salad, or a meal with chicken, vegetables and potatoes. At the very least, choose a meal with at least one portion of vegetables (this information is often on the front of the pack).

DIY fastfood

Learn to love canned & frozen food – food does not have to be fresh to be healthy. Keep nutritious basics in your store cupboard and freezer so that you can have a healthy meal ready in minutes. Tinned and frozen food is great value too.

Look for cans/cartons/jars – sardines, tuna or salmon, sweetcorn, potatoes, baked beans, chickpeas, cannellini beans, two-minute microwave rice or pasta, soup, pasta sauce (tomato-based)

Try frozen vegetables, chicken fillets or quorn, oven-baked chips/potatoes, fruit

My favourite DIY fastfood is tinned salmon, tinned chickpeas, a handful of salad or chopped tomatoes and a little olive oil (ready-to-eat in about one minute).

Top tips

  1. Choose ready meals a bit more carefully
  2. Make ready meals healthier with a few additions – like a bag of salad, a glass of milk
  3. Keep a supply of nutritious canned or frozen foods at home so that you can prepare a wholesome meal in minutes

Remember: Stocking up on nutritious ready meals or stocking up the cupboard and freezer may seem to be expensive at first, but it is cheaper than buying takeaway foods regularly.

Let me know your favourite DIY fastffood.

Enjoy Good Food for Good Health

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