As a mother of teens who have played sports since they were toddlers, I appreciate how challenging it can be to find better for you options when “fast food” or “quick serve” restaurants are all you have to choose from. The good news is that many restaurants DO have guiltless grab ‘n go choices to meet all of your food intake needs!

Wendy’s
Always been a favorite of mine for a few reasons: baked potato, chili and salads. Not boring salads — but inventive salads made fresh, in the store that come in two sizes: full and half. Wendy’s was one of the first to have chicken sandwiches. Eating a small hamburger, small French fries and water can be a good choice on the go. The kids’ meals come with apples, 100% fruit juice or 1% MILK —white or chocolate. Water is always an option.

McDonald’s 
I admire a company that takes the guesswork out of its menu. McDonald’s has a menu called Favorites Under 400 calories! I never would have thought McDonalds would be serving oatmeal with fruit!  You had me at the fruit and yogurt years ago. Happy Meal options also include 100% fruit juice, 1% milk jugs (in white or chocolate), yogurt tubes and apples. As my kids always would say to me, “Ma, they have salads!”

Chipotle
Talk about calling attentionto where yourfood comes from! This quick serve restaurant has demonstrated that people are willing to pay a little more for “fresh” ingredients. From salads to rice bowls, tacos to quesadillas and guacamole! They even have tofu if that is your protein of choice! The Kid’s Menu allows kids to assemble their own tacos (hard or soft) or have a quesadilla served with seasonal fruit, chips and juice or organic milk.

Subway
You can have just about anything as a sandwich or a salad. Pick your bread (nine grain) and size! The Fresh Fit Menu is not only for big appetites — the Fresh Fit for Kids menu is paired with sliced apples and 1% milk. Have your meal prepared the way YOU would like it… with plenty of toppings.

Pizza
This is as American as hamburgers and apple pie.All pizzas are not created the same —which means that some choices may be better than others. The cautionary tale is not to eat more than two slices… and of course, I did once eat in a restaurant where one slice was the equivalent of almost three! Veggies and even fruit (like pineapple) make great toppings on pizza!

7-Eleven & Wawa 
While you may not think of convenience stores as a serious option for food —if you haven’t been into one lately (for more than coffee or a slushy), take a good look around. You can find sandwiches on whole grain breads, yummy salads, hummus, hard-boiled eggs, cut up veggies, cubed cheese, and fresh fruit cups. 7-Eleven has its own 7-Smart line of sandwiches under 400 calories.

It’s all about personal responsibility and choosing wisely!