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Making healthy fast food choices at school

Fast food and take-out places are popular on campus because students don’t always have the time and money to look for other options. Enjoy your hamburger and fries once in awhile but also remember that you can make healthier choices most of the time. 

At the burger place: Choose the kid’s meal, a grilled chicken sandwich or a salad with low fat dressing (on the side). Skip the fries and have a baked potato, salad or fruit.

At the pizza place: Ask for whole grain (or whole wheat) crust. Instead of the extra cheese and pepperoni, get a slice loaded with veggies and grilled chicken. 

At the sandwich shop: Here’s your chance to fill up on fibre. Ask for whole grain or whole wheat bread and choose as many veggies as you can. Lean meats like turkey, chicken, ham or roast beef are also good choices. Have the smaller sandwich size with a salad on the side.

At the coffee shop: Those creamy drinks are tempting, but the sugar and fat can add up quickly. Order the small or regular sized coffee, cappuccino or iced latté. Ask for your drink to be made with low fat or skim milk or soy beverage, and skip the whipped cream topping.

An 8 oz. cup of coffee has about 85 mg of caffeine. Health Canada recommends consuming no more than 400 mg of caffeine each day (this is about 4 cups of coffee). The “small” sized coffees that you buy are usually 12-16 oz (1.5-2 cups). When you buy a large, you may be getting as much as 32 oz. (4 cups) of coffee. Drink this much and you will have maxed out on the amount of caffeine you should be drinking for the day!

At the Asian Eatery: Good choices are the steamed dumplings, steamed buns and veggies. Cold salad rolls, sushi, and soups can also make for a healthy and quick lunch. Try to avoid the deep fried veggies, noodles and spring rolls.

*Tip: Try to make up your mind about what you’re going to eat before walking into the cafeteria or food court. This may help prevent you from giving in to less healthy temptations.

There are lots of places to eat, on and off-campus. Here’s some more information:

Do you have more questions about healthy eating at school?Send an email to an EatRight Ontario Registered Dietitian or call 1-877-510-510-2.

Last Update – October 9, 2016

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