TODAY   |  May 24, 2013

4 tips for healthy fast-food choices

TODAY diet and nutrition editor Madelyn Fernstrom says that you can make wiser choices when eating at fast food restaurants by ordering a kids size meal, avoiding “crispy” dishes, and sticking to low- or no-calorie beverages like water and diet soda.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it's time for our special series, "how to drop ten pounds by memorial day ." hopefully we helped you get the beach body you've always wanted.

>> we're down to the wire, but don't give up now. if you're hitting the road this weekend, you may be hitting a few fast food joints along the way. they're everywhere. our diet and nutrition editor madeline fernstrom is here with great options.

>> they have stuff they never had before at fast food restaurants .

>> it'sing what you're going to be choosing. always downsize, or wost tomas could worst, get a kid's meal.

>> dunkin' doe dmuts have been a leader in this field of having egg white flad bread and skinny bread and wake-up wrap, it's about 150.

>> these are delicious.

>> even mcdonald 's has their regular breakfast sandwiches , now you can get them with egg whi whites, you're going to be around 200 or 300 calories. you can go for skim milk latte. this is a liquid that's going to be good for you. you can have your coffee, two glasses of milk and it will be good.

>> are we hitting lunchtime.

>> lunchtime. dinner time . you'll want to mix and match. stay away from all of their meals, except for kids' meals. one big innovation has been at mcdonald 's, that's downsized the french fries even more and put apple slices. this is how a kid's meal comes. it's great for adults along with a bottle of water.

>> the only time i've seen apples at mcdonald 's was in this there apple pie .

>> downsize again, you can go for chicken. like at wendy's you can get chili and a potato. and speak up. tell them vegetables, no cheese. you don't have to have it the way that it's prepared. you can personalize it and ask for extra lettuce and wrap your whole burger in some lettuce or take off part of the bun and use it for the top. chicken strips the same thing. you want to avoid crispy. that means fried. but sometimes don't want a baked chicken breast and small amounts will be good and sometimes you can skip the fries altogether and get the skrcrispiness along with apples.

>> a lot of people like sandwiches. if you go to sunno subway for example, ask them to scoop out the doughy part of the bread, thels will be between 400 calories. under 600 calories for a lunch or dinner. a smart wrap, grilled chicken . take off part of the bread and the cute little baby subway meal for kids, that's a little three-inch sub with apples and low-fat milk. it's great for adults and really filling.

>> people talk about how they lose weight at subway.

>> chipotle will have the burrito bowls and you want to make sure you just skip all the fried stuff. use some lean toppings.

>> they grill most of that.

>> and that's important. so skip sour cream and added toppings, you're choosing. now you have so many options. and you're still going to be around 400 to 500 calories.

>> okay, madeline .

>> this is more the mix and match if you're someplace like taco bell . all of these are around 150 calories. take two. if you get the taco salad , skip the fried bowl.

>> the bowl is so delicious.

>> i know. don'tee eat it.

>> anything that's crispy like that, you pay for.

>> pizza, if you have one slice of pizza. this is a serving for one. thin crust or a single-serving pizza. go half with someone else and if you want to snack you can get good things. a small latte. new wraps now that are just snack wraps .

>> that looks like, like a chicken --

>> this is chicken and cranberries and it has fewer calories than a plain salad. or a lot of smoothies that can be loaded with calories. but this is under 200 calories. and little baby things from wendy's or mcdonald 's, little parfaits.

>> you got us to memorial day , madeline , what a woman.

>>> do you have any tips on how you're dropping 10 pounds by memorial day ? send your tips to