Ugh, choosing a place to eat out with the fam. I’ll admit, as a nutritionist, I’m pickier than most moms because I’m often on the hunt for places that serve something other than macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets. But between food allergies and picky preferences, it can be challenging for any mom to find a place the whole family enjoys…
…that doesn’t also put a dent in mommy’s Target-run fund.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover McAlister’s Deli (locations in both the Paradise Valley and Arrowhead areas for us North Valley-ers). From the outside, I swear I thought this place was a bar-binge nightmare. There was just something about the name and logo that had me expecting suspender-wearing staffers reluctantly donning their “flair.”
I could not have been more wrong! This place offers an amazing selection of salads, sandwiches, and (much to my excitement) baked potatoes! The menu options are easily customizeable and is health/veg friendly (though you will still need to navigate past the nachos and melts if you want to stay on the healthier side).
After a bout of strength training, I was more than satisfied by their baked potato with vegetarian chili. And for a post-church lunch with the fam bam, I enjoyed their Southwest Cobb (no guac, no cheese, no tortilla strips) with their Fat-Free Chipotle Peach Dressing. I know it sounds like I took off all the “good” stuff but that dressing is so zesty and flavorful you won’t miss it!
While I’m making myself hungry again just telling you about this place, let me not forget to mention the Just For Kids menu. For only 99¢, your child can select from 9 meal options that can include a side of applesauce (which of course, I love because it amps up their nutritional intake). And while they do serve mac n’ cheese, you can also choose from sandwiches (PB&J, Turkey, Ham), a kids salad, or a baked potato.
And it’s okay if you end up sneaking a couple of those Teddy Grahams they serve alongside.
This place is a huge add to my dining out rotation because the kids like it just as much as I do because of the variety of healthy options. They try something different every time we visit. If you really want to encourage healthy eating habits in your kids, menus that offer something other than the standard “kid food” will allow you to provide opportunities for them to eat like you do… or eat like you know you should. 😉
As always, arm yourself with the nutrition facts from the website before you go out to eat. Making the right selections and substitutions can make a meal out a healthy one. As I always say, “Know your nosh!”
For more healthy and nutritional tips visit me at Oh My Nosh! Nutrition Coaching.