Eating Healthy at McDonald’s; What Should I Order?

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I’m headed to McDonald’s and I want to eat healthy.  Is that possible?  What should I order?

While I would love to say that ALL my lunches consisted of organic produce and grass-fed beef, the truth of the matter is raising two kids has resulted in more than a few trips to McDonald’s.  I’m passionate about health and fitness, but I’m a mom first and sometimes that means we head to the Golden Arches to blow off some energy and give me a break from the kitchen!

Eating healthy at McDonald's- What should I order?  Love this healthy dining series from

The words “McDonald’s” and “healthy dining” are RARELY found in the same sentence, but I want you to know that if you too are headed to McDonald’s for a breather, you can leave the fast food joint relatively guilt free if you make the right choices.  Eating healthy at McDonald’s isn’t impossible.

Stay Fit Mom is bringing you The Healthy Dining Series.  We are heading into some of the most popular fast food joints and restaurants around the country to share with you menu choices we believe are your best options for maintaining your healthy lifestyle.

Before our health and fitness guru’s go crazy on us, we are providing you with the following DISCLAIMER:  Yes, eating and prepping home cooked healthy meals are your best option for weight loss and healthy living, BUT let’s be real… sometimes mom just needs a break. 

Stay Fit Mom’s Healthy Menu Choice at McDonald’s:

  • Bacon Ranch Salad with GRILLED Chicken and Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing
  • Sliced Apples
  • Water or unsweetened Iced Tea

Eating healthy at McDonald's- What should I order?  Love this healthy dining series from

When I go to McDonald’s I order the Bacon Ranch Salad with Grilled Chicken.  This salad is pretty much your typical spring lettuce mix with some tomatoes, bacon, and cheese sprinkled in.  Instead of opting for the (creamy, higher calorie) Ranch dressing, I switch it out for Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing.   I pair my meal with a little bit of unsweetened Iced Tea for a middle of the day pick me up and I walk out of McD’s feeling just fine about my food choices.

Stay Fit Mom’s Healthy Options Rating:  After perusing the menu, I felt like the only options I would choose and vouch for came down to the two salads offered.  I would love to see McDonald’s add protein style burgers, fresh fruit medley, and a larger variety of salads, but until then, Stay Fit Mom is giving McD’s a 2 out of 5 Star rating for the Healthy Options category.


 Stay Fit Mom’s Family Friendly Rating:  As a mom of two high energy boys (ages 2 & 4), McDonald’s is one of the few places I can actually sit down and eat an entire meal uninterrupted.  My kids pretty much equate the McDonald’s play place to Disneyland.  Pair that up with FREE wi-fi network and McD’s family friendly rating goes right up to a 4 out of 5 stars.  We’ve met friends for play dates at McDonald’s and I’ve gotten work done at McDonald’s, all while my kids simultaneously get worn down for a solid nap!

Let us know which fast food joints or restaurants you’d like to see in our Healthy Dining Series.

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  1. You can certainly find healthier options everywhere – the only thing I really dont like about fast food is the extra preservative ingredients added to ALL the “healthier” fare … And some grilled chickens are even dusted in sugar! 🙁

  2. There were many times when my kids were little that we went to McDonalds – I knew they could blow off steam and it was a good compromise. Bummer that it was before I took better care of my health and didn’t take advantage of your good tips.