Healthy Foods On-the-Go for Your Child

What can you do if you're not near a grocery store or farmer's market? You can find healthy choices in a corner market or convenience store. Even fast-food restaurants offer some good choices for the whole family.

Mother reads can label while daughter sits in shopping cart.

At a corner market or convenience store

Do you shop at corner markets or convenience stores? You can still find healthy foods for your family. Look for:

  • Canned vegetables and fruits (packed in water, not heavy syrup). If you have to buy fruit packed in syrup, rinse the fruit with water and throw away the syrup.

  • Whole-grain products like brown rice, corn tortillas, and whole-wheat breads. Look for the words "whole grain" on the package, not just "wheat."

  • Good sources of protein like canned beans, tuna canned in water, eggs, low-fat or nonfat milk, and low-fat or nonfat cheese and yogurt.

  • Avoid junk foods! Don't be drawn in by chips, candy, soda, and sugar-filled cereals.

At a fast-food restaurant

Eating healthy at fast-food restaurants means choosing the right foods:

  • Instead of fried foods, try grilled meats like chicken and fish. Look for baked potatoes topped with vegetables or salads. Order low-fat or nonfat milk instead of soda. Get fruit or yogurt instead of milkshakes or cookies.

  • If your child isn't ready for you to stop ordering french fries, get one serving for everyone to share. This gives everyone a taste without making french fries the center of the meal.

  • Lead by example. Make healthy choices for yourself. Kids watch how and what you eat. They'll be more likely to eat healthy foods that you eat, too.


Wherever your family goes, healthy eating can still be easy for you and fun for your kids. Pack sliced vegetables, fruits, and nonfat or low-fat dips in plastic bags or containers. Make fun and easy snacks like celery with peanut butter and raisins. Bring plenty of bottled water. Anywhere you go, you'll be ready when you and your child feel hungry.

To learn more

To get more info:

  • Whole Grains Council


  • Choose My Plate

  • American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics