Healthy fast food ideas for busy moms on the run

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by Rachel Harris, managedmoms.com

azfamily.com

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 1 at 4:22 PM

I thought that life would slow down a bit after the holidays, but with hockey tournaments, my daughter’s theatre performances, dentist appointments, anniversary planning for my website, several family/friend birthdays and then my recent physical therapy appointments for my plantar fasciitis, I’ve been running around just as much!  We also recently had my son’s high school orientation night, my bi-monthly Sunday school teaching and a vet visit.  So life doesn’t stop, but I have to remember to stop to fuel up my Mama tank!  And sometimes, that happens on the run, so here are some healthy and tasty choices when you are forced to eat on the run.

Break Fast for Breakfast
*Cowgirl Cookies from Pomegranate Café -- Yep, I say it is OK to have a cookie for breakfast, but only this one!  Phoenix residents drive from all over to come to the very healthy and tasty Pomegranate Café that has been named a best restaurant choice in numerous publications including Phoenix Magazine.  So if you make the journey to the café which sits next to Trader Joe’s at 40th Street and Chandler Blvd., buy the cookies in bulk, take them home and freeze them and save those cookies for a busy day.  The healthy ingredients that make up this delicious snack include oatmeal, coconut oil, spelt flour, organic dark chocolate chips, applesauce, baking soda, raisins and walnuts so you are getting all good and wholesome ingredients!

*LaraBar – Both my mom and fitness expert/yoga guru Roman Acevedo say that the LaraBar is a good snack bar choice.  Many moms have no choice but to grab a protein bar on the way out the door and the LaraBar is a good choice because all the bars have only several ingredients that include whole foods like dates, almonds, walnuts, coconut and other delicious foods that satisfy both your protein needs and sweet tooth!

*Clif Bar – Made with mostly organic ingredients, the Clif Bar is another energy bar that Roman recommends, although he says that homemade bars are best, but for a busy mom on the run, time doesn’t always allow us to make them homemade.  So go for the Clif Bar because all of the Clif products are free of trans fats, hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup.  Each bar contains carbohydrates, a good amount of protein (9-11 grams) and fiber (4-5 grams), plus they also contain 23 vitamins and minerals.

*Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal – They call it perfect and I have to agree, but to keep it perfect, avoid adding the sugar packet that comes on the side.  The nuts and raisins that also come on the side will sweeten it enough and you won’t need any added sugar, which is one reason that I love this oatmeal. The oatmeal alone has 140 calories and no sugar.  Adding the nut medley packet adds 100 calories and 1 gram of sugar.  Pour the dried fruit packet into the oatmeal and you will get another 100 calories and 22 grams of sugar, so this is why I order mine without the brown sugar packet and I only sprinkle a tiny bit of the dried fruit packet on top for sweetness.  So if you prep your Starbucks oatmeal like I do with the nuts, a little of the fruit medley and no brown sugar, your serving will be around 300 calories and only a few grams of sugar, but be sure to only add a teeny bit of the dried fruit or your oatmeal will become a sugar meal. 


Lunch on the Run
*Pei Wei Vietnamese Chicken Salad Rolls – These are served cold so you don’t have to worry about keeping it warm and the three rolls are easy to grab and eat.  Each roll contains chicken, butter lettuce, Napa cabbage, mint, carrots, scallions, peanuts, rice noodles, sweet chili sauce, lime vinaigrette, all wrapped in light and delicious rice paper.  A tasty peanut sauce comes on the side, but I think the rolls are delicious just the way they are, so I save calories and skip the sauce.  And each roll is only 160 calories a piece.

*Starbucks Protein Plate – Starbucks has a variety of cool Bistro Boxes and my top fave is the Protein Plate that includes one cage-free hard boiled egg with salt and pepper packets, white cheddar cheese, honey peanut butter spread, multigrain muesli bread, apples and grapes.  Not only does this satisfy me without weighing me down like a greasy cheeseburger would, but the kit contains only 380 calories.  You do get 19 grams of sugar, unfortunately, but eat only a little of the peanut butter to help to reduce the sugar amount if you are concerned about that.

*Starbucks Chicken & Hummus Bistro Box – This is another great option because this kit has the chicken for protein and a good serving of veggies that include cucumber, carrot sticks plus grape tomatoes and traditional chick pea hummus with a wheat pita.  Eat this and you are only consuming 270 calories with only 4 grams of sugar.  Plus you get 16 grams of protein.

*Jack in the Box Chicken Fajita Pita – This is pretty much the only item I will allow myself to have from the Jack in the Box menu.  At 326 calories, this lunch fits my calorie and my cash budget and this meal only has 3 grams of sugar.  Each pita is made in a whole grain pita and stuffed with romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, shredded cheddar cheese, grilled onions and tomato.  A fire roasted salsa comes on the side. 

*Subway Flat Bread Turkey & Veggie – I order mine like this….lean turkey, only one slice of pepper jack, a ton of veggies that include green peppers, the spinach lettuce, tomatoes, onion, pickle and ask for just mustard on flatbread instead of the big thick sub bread.  This satisfies me, without weighing me down.

Safeway’s Snack Idea for Moms and Kids
Safeway has an interesting snack kit called Five a Day that packages foods that will pack in the recommended five servings of veggies and fruits nutrition experts say our bodies should be getting.  The snack kit includes grapes, apples, peanut butter dip, celery and more.  Pretty cool way to get your five a day in when you are on the run.  I love this idea!

A Good Take Out Soup for the Sinuses!
The next time you feel your sinuses acting up (which is a lot with our horrible allergy season this year), call in a take-out order of the Spicy Miso Soup that RA Sushi serves up.  Not only is this delicious, but my very health-conscious and food-savvy Mom gives this soup a healthy and hearty thumbs up.  Made with a wholesome miso broth that houses tofu, shrimp, green onion, shiitake mushrooms and bok choy, this soup will satisfy and help to clear your sinuses all at once. 

What healthy fast food ideas do you go for when you have to eat on the run?  Share here in the comments section and remember to check my website at managedmoms.com for recipes, beauty news, pet pics and more.  And be careful when you are on your busy mom runs out there!  I know Moms make sure the kids are fed well, but remember to nurture you, too!

 

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