When eating on the run, those meal deals aren't such a good deal for your diet!
Cotton-O'Neil Heart Center dietician Sabrina Bublitz says when choosing fast food, go for kids meals rather than supersizing and check out the menu beyond the burgers and fries. Bublitz says grilled chicken is a better option than fried chicken or burgers. She also suggests going for the side salad, chili, baked potato or apple slices that many restaurants now offer for side items instead of fries.
For beverages, Bublitz says beware of pop, juices and sports drinks. She says you can end up drinking a whole day's calories and way too much sugar, too.
Even eating at home comes with caution. Bublitz says a lot of convenience foods will be high in sodium and fat. Your best bet is to check labels. She suggests going for lower-sodium varieties of prepared soups and trying whole grain or whole wheat pastas. One surprising pitfall - prepared tomato pasta sauces. Bublitz says many add sugar, when tomatoes already contain sugar naturally. She says look for sauces that have 5 grams of sugar per serving or fewer.
As for those after-school snacks, grab and go is key. Bublitz suggests keeping cut-up fruit and veggies, mozerella cheese sticks, granola bars and whole grain crackers handy.
Bublitz also suggests if you know you'll be eating on the run, plan ahead and pack a cooler with sandwiches, fruit and water.