In a perfect world, we'd all eat fresh fruit and veggies, low fat, high protein foods and fast foods would be non-existent.
But since we all live in the real world, fast food is a reality for nearly all of us.
Simply stated - Americans love fast food.
To answer the question of how much is too much, many nutritionists would say any amount is too much. Fast food is an overly processed collection of salty, saturated fats that offer little in terms of nutrition. And for the most part, the nutritionists are right.
Because of this, McDonalds has had healthier childrens' meals with apples and all white chicken, along with milk to drink. Burger King is now unveiling it's new childrens meals with "apple fries" (which are slices of apples shaped like french fries), mac and cheese and low fat milk. Not great, but better than a fatty cheese burger and fries. Burger King plans on spending millions in advertising, especially (and not surprisingly) geared at mothers.
I can say that my children have never eaten inside a fast food restaurant to date. Being vegetarian is one reason, and wanting better nutrition for them is another. But lest I sound like Ms. Perfect Mom, I will say that they are allowed to have french fries from Wendy's (drive through) about twice a month and they take them home and have them with a veggie burger. I'm not that paranoid that I'd refuse all fast food but we keep it very limited. Fast food is tasty because it's deep fried, fatty and salty (and alternatively sweet and sugary, depending on which part of the menu you are looking at!)and that kind of diet can be addictive. Thinking about the sanitation levels of some of these restaurants is also enough to keep me out of them and keep drive-through visits very minimal. Movies like Supersize Me and Fast Food Nation also serve as dire warnings! Not to mention the environmental consequences of the fast food industry.
So the motto in our home is for as much healthy foods as possible, with fast food (pizza, fries, mac and cheese) on occasion. I don't think the odd slice of cheese pizza is going to hurt our kids, and they enjoy it and I enjoy watching their enjoyment! Soda pop, however, is still completely banned.
To see the nutritional content of major fast food chains, click here
And tell us -
How do you feel about fast food? The average American claims to eat it at least once a week. Some eat it every day. Do you indulge often, just occasionally or do you avoid fast food altogether? Do you allow your children to eat fast food?
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