Judging from the title of this article, you already have a sense of what the topic this week will be. Yes, fast food. But definitely not the fast food you’re thinking about.
In simplified terms, fast food means just that. Fast, food. Food that is prepared without taking up much time or sometimes, effort. More often than not, it’s the unhealthy kind of food that parents dread their children eating. We’re here to change that narrative. Who says fast food must be unhealthy?
There are many reasons why most people, usually the younger generation opt for fast food. It’s quick, easily accessible and cheaper as compared to buying ingredients for a home-cooked meal. It certainly saves on time when you’ve been slaving away at work and can’t be bothered to spend another hour at home preparing a meal.
The only downside to fast food is the health risks that come along with all the greasiness of a burger, the sweetness of a heavily chocolate glazed donut and of course not forgetting a strawberry milkshake to ‘wash it all down’.
Well, I know it’s not going to be easy to convince yourself or your kids to choose a healthier meal over a pizza but what if we tell you that you just might be able to.
Let’s start with the easy stuff.
As far as anyone is concerned cereal is the quickest and easiest breakfast to have on a busy schedule. No problem. Substitute your usual whole milk with low fat or even almond milk. There are vast options for healthy milk, which can be found in most supermarkets.
If you’re not much of a morning eater, grab an apple and be on your way!
Up for a quick snack?
Try a slice of whole wheat or whole grain bread with hummus instead of cheese or butter. If you’ve never tried hummus, don’t be fooled by the look of it. Trust us, once you get a taste, you may never bother to eat bread with anything else. Just ask the Turks!
Another great healthy snack that won’t make you feel guilty about your eating options is a bowl of fresh fruit. Dar is a big city with lots of street food vendors. Make friends with your local fruit vendor and get only the best pick of the day. If you’re more reserved about where you get your fruits, buy a couple on your way home and make your fruit salad bowl just the way you like it. To complete your snack, fresh Madafu will do the trick!
Lunch or Dinner plans?
Now, we all know a burger can be irresistible on a Saturday night out with friends. You’ve worked hard all week; you deserve a reward. Not to feel guilty the next day from all the grease consumed in your beef burger, why not go for a grilled chicken burger? It uses less oil/butter when cooked and when marinated well, it can be equally as tasty, not forgetting healthy. Pair it with whole grain burger buns and you’re good to go! If you’re feeling more adventurous, try out a vegan burger. Some even say, you cannot taste the difference between the two. Maybe you can choose to explore and be the judge of that. It might be so good; you wouldn’t look back.
I know you’re thinking, you can’t have a burger without fries. Who says it has to be potatoes fries though? Change it up! Try baked sweet potatoes or plantains instead. Another great substitute for fries is of course a garden salad which can be a meal on its own. Toss in some grilled chicken and have yourself a complete, healthy dish.
Fish is also a great substitute for meat. Seeing as Dar is on the coast, you are guaranteed fresh seafood on any given day.
So yes, you’ve made a slight change in your choices of ‘fast food’ but don’t stop there. When you’re itching for a milkshake or fizzy drink, order a smoothie or fresh juice. It’s lighter to consume and more importantly, a healthier option.
Don’t forget Dessert!
After eating healthy all day, you should treat yourself to some much-deserved desert. Kids are not very easy to please when it comes to looking for substitutes for healthy dessert, so a few available options include frozen fruit pops, which is basically frozen fruit in form of ice lollies and oatmeal biscuits. Also, a scoop of ice cream once in a while won’t hurt.
For the adults however, what’s a better treat after a long day than dark chocolate? Remember, the goal is to look for alternative fast foods to boost your energy and stay healthy. Who says chocolate can’t do that for you?