Talk about guilt. I hate it when my son asks for a cheeseburger and fries from a fast-food joint – and I give in.
But sometimes you don’t feel like waging a battle. You’re tired and beaten down from a day at the office. You don’t want to be the nutrition cop.
Personally, I justify letting my son eat junk food like this: Well, if we get a quick bite, Connor will have more time for his homework. He’ll get to bed on time. That means, I’ll get to bed on time. And I’ll have more energy to spend quality time with Connor tomorrow! Then I’ll cook a nutritious, sit-down meal. Right!
Oh, hell. Who am I kidding?
I’ll probably be just as whipped the next day and opt for a quick dinner solution – one that may be loaded with calories, fat, salt and other crap.
I was heartened by this recent article, which lists seven nutritionally OK fast-food meals under 350 calories each. The meals are from big names in the fast-food industry: Subway, Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Panda Express – even Dunkin Donuts.
At McDonald’s, for instance, you can order the Grilled Honey Mustard Snack Wrap and salad with low-fat dressing. Together, they have 320 calories and 12 grams of fat, the article says.
At Burger King, get a Junior Whopper (without mayonnaise) and BK Apple Fries, which have a total of 330 calories and 10.5 grams of fat.
And at Taco Bell, you’ll be OK with two Fresco Chicken Soft Tacos. They have 340 calories and 8 grams of fat.
You can (if you look hard enough) find decent meals for you and your kids at the ubiquitous fast-food chains. Yes, you’d feel better if you cooked a meal at home that had servings of fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
But life is messy as a single dad. Offer your kids the most nutritious meals you can with the time and energy you have. And skip the guilt.
When it comes to feeding your kids, you have to be resourceful and make compromises. You’re juggling a lot of balls as a single dad. Sometimes you have to rely on a fast-food joint for dinner. Spend a few minutes studying the menu and make the best choices you can.