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Ban the burger bulge

Molly Cerreta Smith has enjoyed a career in the publishing industry for more than 10 years. As an editor of several regional magazines, she has had the opportunity throughout her career to meet many local celebrities, businesspeople, ent...

Kick your kids' Fast Food habit to the curb

From Arby's to Taco Bell and everywhere in between, kids love fast food. Yes, it's convenient (and, OK, admittedly delicious) but it's no secret that most fast food options are just not good for you.

Check out these sneaky ways to veer your kids away from their fast food habit.

Plan ahead for on-the-go dining

One of the reasons fast food is so popular is because it’s easy — especially for busy families with both parents working and kids in school and extracurricular activities. Even if you have to eat on the go, plan some “portable” meals instead of relying on the drive-thru.

If you don’t have time to make a full-blown dinner by the time you get home from work and before you need to take the kids to karate, pack a cooler full of grab-and-go eats like no-mess sandwiches (sans shredded lettuce and drippy mayo), granola or protein bars and snack-size packs of almonds, whole grain pretzels or whole wheat crackers with cheese sticks and apples. Just because you’re dining on the go, doesn’t mean you can’t offer a healthy, wholesome meal.

Check out these tips for healthy eating on-the-go >>

Monkey see, monkey do

If you really want your kids to eat healthy and ditch the drive-thru, you need to set the example. You don’t have to denounce fast food and all treats forever. Simply making small changes in your eating and lifestyle patterns will help your children follow suit. Encourage eating right and living an active lifestyle and before you know it, your family’s fast-food addiction will be gone for good.

Bring back family dinners

The family dinner table has gone the way of the dinosaur in many homes. Let’s bring it back! Make an effort to offer your kids a home-cooked meal at least three to four nights a week. Even if you’re not Giada De Laurentiis, we know you can whip up something! Enlist the hubby and the kids to help you chop veggies, stir soups or taste-test noodles for tenderness.

Treat your family with these 5 healthy but yummy family meals >>

Offer a fast-food style alternative

Give your family a similar alternative so they don’t feel totally deprived from their fast-food faves. For example, if chicken nuggets and fries are top on your kids’ list, make a healthier version for them by cutting chicken breasts into small pieces, dredging them in milk and then crushed corn flakes and baking them until cooked through. Instead of bagged fried and frozen potato strings to accompany your homemade nuggets, bake sweet potato wedges until crispy outside and tender inside.

More healthy eating tips

Healthy eating tips and tricks
3 Ways to get your kids eating healthy
10 Healthiest foods your kids need to be eating

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