Survive a Long Day at the Mall with these Healthy Food Court Picks

Survive a Long Day at the Mall with these Healthy Food Court Picks

Don't let long shopping days derail your diet! Dietitians suggested top five mall-friendly healthy meals.

Bellingham, WA (Vocus) December 13, 2010

It's the Christmas shopping season, and for many people, that means eating at least one meal a week at the mall. With massive tubs of french fries and greasy chicken wings lurking in every mall's food court, healthy eating on all all-day shopping trip can be a challenge. But you can find a reasonably healthy meal at the mall's food court – if you know what menu items to look for, and what to avoid.

According to nutrition expert Gloria Tsang, founder of http://www. HealthCastle. com, in an ideal world you'd skip the food court altogether and bring some healthy snacks from home. But since that's not always possible when you're carting bags of gifts around the mall, it's good to know how to spot the healthiest offerings at the food court. “In mall food courts, all the worst foods are on offer,” Gloria says. “No matter what, you'll probably get more sodium than you need. But you can limit the damage by selecting the healthiest items from the fast food menus. You'll get some vegetables, as well as some protein to keep you going through the rest of your shopping day.”

When hunger strikes at the mall, here are the top five food-court choices to get a healthy meal that comes in at 400 calories or less.

Subway: Check out the "6 Grams of Fat or Less Menu" for tasty options like Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki. But stick to the "6 grams of fat" formula – adding sauces, mayo, oil, or cheese will ratchet up the calories and fat. If you're looking for extras, load your sandwich with fresh veggie toppings.

Wendy's: With a number of salad options, Wendy's can help you load up on greens. But use as little of the dressing packet as you can, and pass up the extras – like the crispy noodles and almonds on the Mandarin Chicken Salad.

McDonald's: For a snack, choose the Fruit and Yogurt Parfait or the caesar salad with balsamic vinaigrette instead of caesar dressing. For a meal, go for the Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich with no mayo to slide in under 400 calories, or satisfy your burger craving with a plain hamburger matched with a side salad instead of fries.

KFC: The Tender Roast Sandwich comes in at 400 calories, and you can save 100 calories more by opting for no sauce. For a better-rounded meal, go for a grilled chicken breast with a serving of three bean salad and a small ear of corn on the cob.

Pizza: If only pizza will do, make sure you order a thin crust, skip the extra meats and cheese, and load up on veggies. Pizza Hut's Thin 'N Crispy Veggie Lover's Pizza fits the bill. Just make sure to stop at two slices.

If you decide you just need a snack instead of a full meal, pop into a convenience store at the mall for a 100-calorie pack of plain almonds or walnuts, a healthy snack bar, or a single serving of yogurt. Once you've refueled your body, you can get back to shopping, without being slowed down by a meal full of fat and grease! More healthy eating tips from registered dietitians are available at http://www. HealthCastle. com, an official USDA MyPyramid Partner.

Twitter: http://twitter. com/HealthCastleGlo

Facebook: http://www. facebook. com/healthcastle

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