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Has anyone else noticed the recent changes in fast food kid’s meals? When we were growing up, the choices were your basic burger, cheeseburger, or chicken nuggets…you got fries…and an orange drink! If our Mommies let us have that at all!

Sitting in the drive thru with my girls a few days ago, placing the order took forever! Sydney from the back, “I want an apple AND a yogurt!” Sarah, who’s too grown (she thinks)…needs a chicken sandwich, but still wants the toy, “Make sure it’s not a toy for BOYS!” Heaven forbid. And- so you know- the chicken sandwich wasn’t a choice, so now I have a hamburger up for grabs with a kid’s meal and a separate chicken sandwich. Don’t judge!

So, we have to choose from the main course, then the sides. You still get your fries, but many fast food restaurants are offering apples, oranges, yogurt or other healthy choices IN ADDITION TO the side of french fries. Then comes the drink…milk is a great option! I prefer my children to drink skim, which it isn’t, but generally, it’s 1% low fat…so not too bad. Or you can choose juice, or soda….or-or-or-or…

It would just be easier to go home! Although I do appreciate the effort that restaurants are making. It makes us Moms feel less guilty…just don’t watch any documentaries on how chicken nuggets are made!

Do you ever wish, in the day to day rush, that you didn’t have to stop at the drive-thru for lunch or dinner for the kids? We manage to only go maybe one to two times per month. That may be too much for some, or too little for others, but for us, that’s REALITY. I really don’t think that’s too bad with two full time working parents and three growing kids! Here is how WE avoid fast food…

  • Plan meals ahead of time. I always plan meals for the week on Sunday. We have to take in to consideration evening schedules, and having it written down takes a HUGE amount of stress off of me. I make a weekly chart and hang it on the refrigerator.
  • Shop for the week in one trip. If you’ve read my blog about shopping alone on Saturday morning , you will remember that we set aside Saturday morning for me to grocery shop while one daughter is at practice and while Daddy has the other two. By shopping for the week in one trip, I don’t run the risk of A) spending money outside the budget, or B) stressing every day to stop at the store for supplies.
  • Plan for a meal out! You work hard! You deserve someone else to cook for you! Pick one evening meal (some restaurants offer free kids’ meals one night a week)…that you don’t have to cook. Work it in to the budget. You deserve this reward!
  • Use your Crock Pot or Slow Cooker! I use mine at least once, if not twice per week. Toss things in the night before or in the morning before work, and BAM! You’re done!
  • Keep sandwich and snack supplies on hand! Or pizza supplies or whatever your children enjoy. Make sure to have those supplies handy for those busy nights.
  • Make a list! What are the easiest and “kid friendliest” meals to make? Is it grilled cheese? English muffin pizzas? Turkey hot dogs with smiley fries? Keep these on your grocery list.
  • Grocery list apps! I don’t use it, but I have it…and many families use it! Keep your list of groceries right on your phone!

 

What other strategies have you tried, in order to avoid fast food? The most important factor is to keep fast food stops as a TREAT or even a REWARD (for a great check-up or good grades!) Please share your ideas with me!

 

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