Sunday, January 22, 2012

Healthy Fast Food Restaurant... Would You Eat Here?

Why do 99% of American fast food restaurants offer french fries as a side item?  Because people BUY them.  In recent years some of the more popular fast food chains have begun offering apple slices or a fruit cup in exchange for the fries, but only when you buy a kids meal.  If I want fruit instead of fries I would have to bring my own because it's just not an option at most restaurants.

Below is my ideal menu for a healthy fast food restaurant.  (Note: This restaurant does not exist, yet.  Perhaps you the reader will be interested in opening one?)

I'll start with the side items.  You may be wondering why.... well because these are the items that need to change the MOST to make fast food healthier. 

Roasted Chickpeas
photo courtesy of Maggie Hoffman
Healthy side items:

sweet potato fries
apple slices
mandarin oranges
raw baby carrots
yogurt cup
lime seasoned roasted chickpeas
chili seasoned roasted chickpeas

Healthier dessert choices:

pumpkin chocolate chip cookie
Healthy entree choices:

Turkey burger on whole wheat bun
Garden burger on whole wheat bun
Grilled chicken sandwich on whole wheat bun
Vegetarian pita sandwich - hummus, lettuce, tomato, onion, green pepper, feta cheese and provolone cheese on toasted pita bread
Grilled cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread 

Healthy topping choices for burgers and sandwiches:

Fresh Spinach
photo courtesy of Clearly Ambiguous
turkey bacon
fresh spinach leaves
fresh romaine or red top lettuce (no iceberg lettuce found here)
fresh green bell pepper strips
fresh purple onion strips
fresh diced tomato
organic ketchup (no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial
colors or flavors)
lite mayonnaise
lite ranch dressing
low fat white American cheese
low fat provolone cheese
low fat pepper jack cheese

So, would you or your family eat here?  Would you even miss the french fries with so many healthy choices?  I know our family would love these foods and would likely eat here several times a month if it were available at a reasonable cost.

In addition to the above, I would love to find a family friendly restaurant that not only offers healthy, wholesome foods, but offers food without any artificial food colorings, artificial flavorings and no high-fructose corn syrup.  Think it's not possible?  Well I think it IS possible.  We the consumers just have to demand these types of foods.  The stores track what we purchase and therefore stock more of what we purchase.  Restaurants do the same.  Items that don't sell very well won't remain on the menu.

Choose to eat healthier foods.  You and your family will be happier and healthier for it.


  1. I would eat at a restaurant like that. With obesity growing year over year, it is amazing that there are not more healthy choices. Fast food is cheap, it doesn't have to be terrible for you. Tropical Smoothie Cafe has healthy food. Why can't other places? The number of obese children is increasing every time we turn around. What are we doing to the next generation? Are we injuring our children by feeding them what we do? Healthy food can be tasty and children will eat it, we just have to make it an option. Great post

  2. LOVE IT!! I tasted roasted chickpeas the other day and adored them! I will be making them again. If someone made your restaurant, I would surely eat there. So far the healthiest 'fast food' I can come up with is Chick-fil-a, and we eat there a ton, but I would love to see sweet potato fries with my grilled chicken nuggets, you know? Hummus... yummm.... ;)

  3. Really excellent
    <a href="”>Healthy fast food restaurant</a>