Family Friendly Fast Food

Picture of a young child with friends eating fast food

Family Friendly Fast Food

You may be away from home or too far from home and the family is starting to get the tummy rumbles. Fast food can sometimes be an inevitable option.

Before you turn to the local takeaway or fast food restaurant, here are a few family-friendly fast-food tips to get you and your kids through the drive-through without driving over your health.

Set rules to choices offered

Before entering the fast-food shop or drive through, let your kids know of the options available. Give them choices of a few options and stick to these options e.g. salad or apple pieces.

Educate yourself as the parent

Most fast-food restaurants have an online website with the nutritional content of the meal items available. If you have time, browse over their main options and see which would be the best in terms of energy content, then if there is time look at the fat content.

Generally aiming for:

  • less than 10g/100g total fat and less than 3g/100g of saturated fat
  • less than 15g/100g of added sugar
  • sodium is low if less than 120mg per 100g or moderate at 400mg per 100g or less.

If you do not have time or access to the website, then make choices based on foods that are not deep-fried but grilled or roasted. Whole foods like apple pieces or salads, bean burritos or wraps, low-fat yoghurt or milk are better options.

Think about how much is ordered

Instead of choosing a large meal or upgrading to a super-size because of the value for money benefit, try a burger with small chips and a large salad with low-fat milk or soda water. The large salad option is not only lower in energy gram for gram than chips but also contains more nutrients and fibre to help the body function at its best. More fibre in your meal will help you to feel fuller for longer.

Prepare meals and snacks and avoid the fast-food trap altogether

The best option is to always avoid the fast-food restaurant if possible. Preparing food in advance will save the battle of struggling with your kids to select the better choices for health over the not so healthy options. Preparing food and eating at home, even fast family meals will also save you money.

Take-Home Message:

Being prepared leads to success as you can select healthier food and drink alternatives. Check out the family-friendly recipes on South Australian Gourmet Food Company website such as Spaghetti Bolognese. This is a super tasty bolognese that everyone will love.


Ashleigh Feltham (MNutrDiet)
Feed Your Future Dietetics
Accredited Practising Dietitian | Accredited Nutritionist