By contributing writer Lisa:
I’m sure everyone can agree that there are times that call for fast food. At least, in the sense that you need food in a hurry with little inconvenience.
If you are at home, meals like this can be really simple. A frozen pizza, breakfast for dinner, or an easy dinner that can be made in less than twenty minutes. “Fast food” put together quickly and easily without sacrificing nutrition.
But if you’re out of the house, your options are seemingly limited to any number of restaurants featuring an intercom, a pick-up window, and food neatly wrapped in paper and foil.
And typically, these restaurants’ focus is NOT to be a beacon of healthy food choices.
Now, before I go on, I want to be clear that our family is no stranger to the drive-thru. Especially these past couple of months when I’ve been out of commission as a menu planner and chef.
However, while almost everyone orders the occasional “number 1 with everything on it”, I think we can all at least agree that it’s not exactly a very nutritious way to regularly serve our families.
Instead of the “fast food” we typically think of when we hear the term, here’s another way to get a quick meal when you’re out of the house–frugal, easy, and healthy.
Healthy Fast Food Ideas from the Grocery Store
One of our favorite ways to get a simple, healthy meal on the go is to stop in a nearby grocery store and pick up a few things. We do it all the time around town, just before heading to a park or visiting the science center, and we do it when we are traveling out of town, needing an easy meal that isn’t going to leave us feeling sick.
Certainly, in a grocery store your options are incredibly varied. You could go all out or try and keep things simple. We prefer the latter.
Try a combination of two or three of these foods for a healthy fast food meal:
- fresh fruit
- hummus and fresh pita bread or pretzels
- chips and salsa
- loaf of fresh bread and spreadable or Babybel cheese
- baby carrot sticks
- snap peas
- deli meat and cheese
- dehydrated veggie chips or veggie straws
- muffins from the bakery
- pasta salad from the deli
Everything on this list is purposefully no-fuss. No knives needed. Finger food. Simply portion out and serve.
You can take your food “to-go” and eat it on the run or at a park. Many grocery stores have a “dine-in” area too with tables and plastic cutlery.
Another thing I want to do soon is to make a picnic bag that stays in our car so we will be more prepared for spontaneous fast-food meals like this which we enjoy at parks and such. Keeping a small stash of plastic plates, paper towels, and a small knife will mean even more convenience.
Do you use this method for buying “fast food” for your family? What are some of your favorite quick and easy ideas for healthy food on the go?
Be sure to check out all the posts in A Grace-Filled Look at Real Food here.