When it comes to eating healthy meals, our first choice is to plan and cook at home as it is easier to ensure you are cooking with healthy ingredients. However, we realize that families today are constantly on the go and so we want to offer our recommendations for some healthy options at popular restaurants. There tends to be limited selections for children, so we are focusing on the best food choices that they are most likely to eat and enjoy.
Today we start with the best food choices for kids at Chick-fil-A:
Fruit Cup – The fruit cup is a fantastic option for breakfast or as a simple swap for fries in a kids meal. The fruits that are included – mandarin oranges, blueberries, strawberries, and apples – tend to be popular choices for kids.
Serving Size: Medium cup
Fat: 0 g
Fiber: 2 g
Carbohydrates: 13 g
Protein: 0 g
Sodium: 0 mg
Multi-Grain Oatmeal – Chick-fil-A’s oatmeal is a great breakfast option as it contains flax, whole wheat and buckwheat so it is full of fiber to keep kids feeling full longer. The added dried fruit adds some sweetness and the nuts add some protein. Opt to leave off the brown sugar to make it an even healthier option.
Serving Size: Oatmeal cup with toppings
Fat: 10 g
Fiber: 5 g
Carbohydrates: 50 g
Protein: 2 g
Sodium: 60 mg
Grilled Nuggets Kid’s Meal– You have the choice of 4- or 6-count grilled or classic chicken nuggets. Choosing the 6-count grilled nuggets over the 6-count standard nuggets will save you 100 calories, 7.5 g of fat and 390 mg of sodium. To complete the healthier kid’s meal, choose the fruit cup shown above over the fries and select the 2% white milk over soda, juice or lemonade. Always remember that you can choose water as the beverage even though the kid’s meal comes with a drink other than water.
Serving Size: 6 grilled nuggets
Fat: 2.5 g
Fiber: 0 g
Carbohydrates: 3 g
Protein: 17 g
Sodium: 400 mg
Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Sandwich – For the older kids (in addition to the grilled nuggets), the grilled chicken sandwich is a good choice. It comes on a multi-grain bun and is served with lettuce and tomato. Pair this with the fruit cup or you can even get some additional protein and calcium with the Greek yogurt parfait topped with fresh blueberries and strawberries and the harvest nut granola.
Serving Size: Sandwich with lettuce and tomato
Fat: 5 g
Fiber: 3 g
Carbohydrates: 40 g
Protein: 30 g
Sodium: 800 mg
Chick-fil-A offers a very useful interactive menu featuring the nutrition information for all of the menu items. There is also a nice meal calculator feature that allows you to total up everything in your entire meal. This is a great visual tool to help you realize what you are actually eating and can even help you to maybe cut back on some of the not-so-healthy items once you see it all added up.
Make sure and check out the complete Chick-fil-A nutrition guide to see the numbers on all of your favorite foods. Try out the interactive menu and remember that eating out doesn’t necessarily mean you have to neglect your healthy eating patterns!
Looking for simple, healthy recipes to make at home? Check out our weekly recipes that we share every Wednesday. Make sure to check back each week for more healthy ideas!
The holidays will be here before we know it and certainly your wallet will be feeling it! One place that you can work on tightening up your budget is by saving at the grocery store. With just a little bit of time and research, your grocery shopping expenses can really be cut drastically, while still making sure you are purchasing healthy foods.
Here are 15 money saving tips for healthy shopping:
Save now, store for later – Freeze fresh whole grain bread/muffins/pitas to take advantage of sales or buy one/get one promotions. This guarantees you will have healthy ingredients in the kitchen for last minute meals.
Shop the perimeter – Stay on the perimeter of the store for healthier foods and fresh ingredients that can save money by opting to make your own meals rather than buying pre-packaged ones from center aisles.
Go the distance – Get the most out of your fruits by making homemade dry fruit for healthy snacks. Right before your fruit starts to go bad, try these tasty recipes for pineapple chips and fruit leather; both great for family fun!
Cook a little extra – Save money by making a big batch of whole wheat pasta, like these healthy whole wheat pasta ideas, at the beginning of the week and then package in small containers to take for lunch. This will keep you from eating out and spending money at lunchtime!
Select versatile foods – Consider purchasing foods that pair well for any meal of the day (like eggs and spinach) and then get creative with how you serve them in different breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees! Who says you can’t eat a healthy egg frittata for dinner?
Buy what you need – Fresh seafood can be just as inexpensive as frozen. The key is buying only what you need. Since many grocery stores have a seafood counter, you can purchase the perfect amount of salmon or shrimp for your meal and avoid paying more for unused food.
Do your homework – Check out the grocery store’s weekly circular and plan meals around the featured deals of the week or stock up on sale items and freeze for a later date. High-end grocery stores also typically have great daily deals, so make sure and look into those, too. Don’t forget to cut your coupons … small savings will add up!
Make your own – In this case, make your own salad dressing. Why spend extra money when you likely already have ingredients in the kitchen? Check out these simple ways to make your own healthy salad dressing.
Cook some chili – Chili is a great dinner option that also tastes great reheated for leftovers. Because the majority of the ingredients in chilis come from canned veggies, they offer a great way to save on weeknight meals. Here are some of our favorite chili recipes.
Buy the whole thing – Choose the simplest versions of fruits and veggies. Instead of buying precut onions, carrots, potatoes, etc., opt for the whole versions. This way you aren’t paying for someone else to prepare food for you. Investing in some kitchen tools to prepare your fruits and veggies will not only save you money in the long run, but also makes for a fun family activity.
Cook with same ingredients – Plan out a week’s menu using some of the same ingredients throughout your meals. This reduces your chances of wasting food and pushes you to get creative. For example, if buying a package of grape tomatoes, add half to whole wheat pasta, then chop up remaining and add to a pizzalad. Or, use a package of whole wheat wraps for the week to make quesadillas, breakfast wraps or as ‘bread’ for a sandwich.
Use the scale – Spend a few extra minutes selecting the appropriate-sized fruits and veggies for your meals by using the store-provided scale. For example, a 1.5 lb. tomato may look smaller than a 1 lb. one, but choosing the lighter one will save money.
Sub fruits and veggies for meat – When fresh fruits and veggies are in season, use in place of meats to save on costs. This will challenge you to try new things and be creative in the kitchen. Try some of these tasty berry healthy salad ideas.
Look for clearance – See if your grocery store has a clearance section or manager’s specials for meals you are planning to make right away. This is a great way to save on meat and fish if you plan to use that day or soon after purchase.
Shop wholesale – For more costly purchases, such as pine nuts or almonds, head over to your favorite wholesale store to get more for your money!
What are your favorite ways to save at the grocery store?
It’s so easy for kids to get caught up in hours of screen time a day. It’s an escape after a long day and likely used as a distraction so parents can get dinner on the table. The problem is that, with all of this screen time, comes less physical activity and good old fashioned fun. We have some helpful tips for limiting screen time and promoting fun alternative activities instead.
First, here are three tips for limiting screen time:
Tip 1: Make a pledge to go outside.
If it’s a beautiful day, don’t spend it indoors in front of a screen. Go places like the park, or the playground together as a family.
Tip 2: Learn a healthy hobby.
Make a family goal to learn a new hobby or skill. Instead of watching television, spend time on new interests that will enrich your lives.
Tip 3: Create an activity basket.
Fill a colorful basket with books, puzzles and toys for children that they can use instead of watching television.
Next, watch as Hardy Heart teaches Pepto the importance of limiting screen time:
Now, make sure and download this fun word scramble for kids:
Once fall rolls around, time seems to quickly accelerate towards the holidays. Before one can even pick out a Halloween costume the stores and television ads are already geared toward holiday shopping. With the craziness of the holiday season about to ensue, it’s important to prioritize quality time with friends and family so you can appreciate all the fall offerings. Whether it’s the cooler weather or the pumpkin lattes that excite you, take it in and enjoy before the holiday chaos begins.
Here are 8 fall activities that you can do with your friends and family:
Watch seasonal sporting events – Whether it be soccer, hockey, or your local high school or collegiate football team, grab your scarves and blankets to cozy up together on the bleachers.
Attend local Fall festivals – These are typically very family-friendly packed with plenty of food, games, prizes, and fun to be had by all.
Go to a haunted house – Even if you have some scaredy cats, this can be a good bonding experience!
Visit a pumpkin patch – Let the kids select their favorite pumpkins, carve them (adults, we are talking to you) in front of the cozy fireplace and cook those yummy pumpkin seeds. You can even change it up and have the kids paint the pumpkins or decorate them with some sparkly glitter.
Collect colorful leaves – Rake leaves into piles and let the kids jump in them. They can also help out with the raking as that definitely counts as physical activity! Let them select some of their favorite leaves and use them later for a fall craft. (Try Pinterest for crafty ideas.)
Make festive treats – Stir up some hot apple cider while making a tasty (and yes it can be healthy, too!) pumpkin or apple dessert, such as these simple apple pie wraps. Make sure to let the kids help with the food prep.
Family movie night – Fix some healthy snacks (this OrganWise-ified popcorn is a good one!) and gather around the couch for a scary movie marathon.
Sign up for a race – Pick a fun local event and the entire family can participate. They typically have a fun run/walk for the kids in addition to the actual race. Get some family exercise while supporting a good cause!
To make sure you are able to take part in these fun activities, try making a list like the one above and hang it in a central location. You will be much more likely to actually do some of these things and the kids love being able to cross off an event or task once completed. It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day grind that it’s nice to have a reminder to stray a bit and engage in some fun, but not typical activities. So, jump into fall and plan your list of festivities now before the next round of holidays sneaks up on us!
Today we welcome for the first time, Kaitlin Krull, who is a writer and mom of two girls living the expat life in the UK. Her writing is featured on Modernize.com and a number of home decor sites around the web. She can also be found blogging from time to time on her personal blog, A Vicar’s Wife.
Giving your kids the independence they want and need in the kitchen is an important step in their development. By letting them choose their own healthy snacks, you save yourself time and lay the groundwork for healthy eating habits later on in life. At Modernize, we know that organization in the kitchen is key in family life. Here are some tips to help you organize your pantry so everyone is happy at snacktime.
We all know that children need at least five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day, and snack time is the perfect time to catch up on any missed servings. Keep a well-stocked basket of fruit at the ready so your kids can grab an orange, apple, or other fruit of their choosing whenever the urge strikes. Don’t worry about overeating here; your kids’ bodies will likely tell them when they’ve had enough—plus, it can’t hurt to have too much fresh produce in the house.
For snacks that require preparation, consider portioning out serving sizes ahead of time and storing in plastic bags or airtight containers. Nuts, berries, and seeds can all be measured out and stored safely in the pantry for a few weeks. The same goes for prepackaged dried fruit and crackers: if you can afford to spend a little more on these portion-controlled packets, it negates any prep time you might need and makes snack time even more convenient.
When storing your little ones’ snacks, keep perishables in clear jars or Tupperware. In addition to keeping your food fresher for longer, clear containers help you and your children see exactly which snacks are kept where and when they need restocking.
If you feel like you need to step up your pantry organization even further, consider labelling your snack shelves and containers with photographic labels. This way, even the youngest children will know where to find their favorite snacks and won’t have to ask every time. Take your labelling to the next level by posting a weekly snack list on the pantry door; this is particularly useful if you have kids who would normally snack all day long and helps to set limits on their food intake between meals.
Although this is probably a given, make sure your easy access pantry snacks are just that: accessible. Keep toddler and smaller child friendly snacks on lower shelves to encourage independence in even the youngest children. Place any grownup snacks out of sight and reach. You never know; you might forget about the naughty treats yourself and end up snacking on the healthy stuff late at night!
How do you organize your pantry to ensure kids have healthy snacks accessible?