Dr. Susan’s Fit and Fun Family Action Plan

By Dr. Susan Bartell

Fast Living, Fast Food Quiz

• Does your child eat almost all meals on the run?


• Are your child’s meals usually from a drive-thru?


• Do you usually feed your child whatever is fastest and most convenient, rather than focusing on what is healthiest?


• Is your refrigerator mostly empty because no one really cooks in your home?


What Your Score Means: If you answered yes to two or more questions, it’s likely that you are in a fast living, fast food family, but even one yes probably means you should be making some changes, so read on!

Aha, Now I Understand

Cindy is a single mom juggling Kylie (ten), two jobs, a house, a dog, and two hamsters. “Sometimes, it’s all I can do to drag myself out of bed in the morning and get Kylie up for school,” admitted Cindy. “I know that feeding Kylie fast food all the time isn’t good for her. I can see that she’s gained a lot of weight and that she’s not happy about it, but I just don’t have a single minute left in the day to cook!”

Cindy is not alone living in her intensely paced world, which leaves little time to breathe, let alone cook. To make it worse, fast food companies inundate our children and us with enticing advertising and “great deals” to purchase their high-calorie, high-fat, not-very-nutritious products. No wonder fast living, fast food is making our kids gain weight (and sometimes us too!).

Breaking the Pattern: Believe it or not, I’m not going to tell you that you have to stop eating fast food! The truth is that just about every fast food restaurant now has healthier choices on the menu. Your job will be getting your child or teen to eat them—that might be a bit tricky.  Follow these steps…