Healthy Fast Food Guide

Cynthia Dermody

Getting our toddlers to eat healthily is hard enough at home--let alone when we're on the run. Let's face it, five-star gourmet dining is not an option with toddlers, so we're left trying to decide which fast-food place will do the least amount of caloric damage. Here's a resource that I'm going to stick in my glove compartment: the Restaurant Report Card from Men's Health magazine.

The magazine's editors graded over two dozen fast-food chains, based on their menus of calorie-conscious dishes that both kids and parents will like, including McDonald's (which gets a B for kid-friendly favorites that fall around 300 calories) and Subway (which scores an A for its calorie-conscious variety of sandwiches, soups, and sides).

See how some of your favorite fast-food places ranked on the report card. Then check out the Healthy Meals and Snacks for Kids! group for some great on-the-go ideas, including cored apples stuffed with peanut butter from ElJaMom. If you have one to add, post it here.

Registered dietitian Marilyn Tanner-Blasier, a spokeswoman from the American Dietetic Association, reminds us that our toddlers need between 1,000-1,300 calories a day max, with about 40 percent of them from good fats (like from milk or meat) to ensure those precious little brains grow as strong as their bodies.

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child care, development & growth, food, health, travel