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The Fast Food Dilemma: Weighing the Pros and Cons of a Drive-Thru Diet

It’s an internal battle that constantly rages…whether to hit a fast food joint or not. My knowledge that it’s not a healthy option is constantly pitted against my love for giant unsweetened iced tea and the ease with which I can feed my kids.

And, honestly, I give in and hit the drive-thru more than I’d like. Because it’s easy and because it makes my kids happy. But  mostly because it’s easy.

I love that apples or other fruit are, at the very least, an option at most fast food joints these days. My 4-year-old often chooses them over french fries. And when they come with the french fries, he’s a very happy camper. We usually forgo the soda and opt for milk instead, and if we’re really adventurous, we might even get chocolate milk.

Because we don’t eat fast food that often, and because we usually choose the “healthier” offerings when we do, I don’t let my mommy guilt bubble over when we hit the drive-thru.

But then, I read articles about what exactly my kids are eating when they have a burger and I consider never ever visiting a fast food establishment again.

It was recently reported that McDonalds, Burger King and Taco Bell will be removing “ammoniated beef” from their ingredients list. In case you’re wondering, ammoniated beef, also lovingly referred to as “Pink Slime,” is a filler made from non-edible fatty beef parts that have been treated with ammonia and water, thus killing bacteria and making them safe to eat.

Essentially, my kids have been eating beef parts that are only fit for human consumption because they have been pumped full of ammonia.

I gagged a little bit just typing that out.

It makes me wonder what else is in those foods that I don’t know about.

Yes, I know that fast food isn’t the best or healthiest option, and that’s why we choose to eat it sparingly. But there are times where it is, essentially, the only option, and there are times where it is, by far, the most convenient option.

So what’s a girl to do?

Where do you fall on the spectrum? Do you hit the drive-thru on a regular basis, have you banned it from your lives completely, or are you like me and get fast food on occasion, when the circumstances present themselves?

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More from Babble:

An Open Letter to McDonalds

Mom Confession: I’m a Junk Food Junkie

I beg my kid to eat french fries

Supersize Me: How living with kids sold me on fast food


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