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More options are available for quick meals than ever before. Many supermarkets offer salad and hot entre bars, people can go to "kitchens" to assemble a weeks worth of meals from prepared ingredients, and whole meals can be ordered and delivered to your home.

Even the frozen dinner has evolved. "There are many more choices now than just the old stand-by TV dinners with fried chicken, whipped potatoes, and corn," Jegtvig told Education World. "There are meals for dieters that are low-fat, low-calorie, or low in carbohydrates. There are meals designed just for kids, too. These can be healthy if you stay away from the breaded foods. Read the labels and avoid saturated fats and trans fats and be careful with the sodium content."

Some buffet restaurants allow customers to buy their food by the pound. The not-so good offerings, though, can quickly fill up the container. If you go this route, "make healthy choices," Jegtvig said. "It can be too easy to choose unhealthy foods at the buffet line. That hot pizza may look much more appealing than the baked chickenStay away from greasy and fried foods and choose more vegetables, fruits, salads, and leaner meats, fish, and poultry."

Convenience, though, can come at a financial and caloric cost. "They [prepared meals] do tend to be expensive because you are paying for convenience," said Jegtvig. "The cheapest prepared meals tend to come from fast food restaurants and they are very high in calories and unhealthy fats."

Still, you can get prepared meals without breaking the bank, said William Daley, food and wine reporter for the Chicago Tribune. As for picking up prepared entrees at the supermarket, "choose wisely and don't overload your box...just think of all the weight cottage cheese adds to the typical salad. Weigh carefully whether the time savings or ease of preparation justifies the cost. And consider quality."

When it comes to fast foods, Elisa Zied, a registered dietician and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, recommended driving by the drive through.

But if you must hit a fast food place, Zied suggested going to a restaurant with nutritional information about its foods and comparing different items. Sticking to salads, fruit and yogurt, grilled chicken, and asking for any sauces on the side can make the visit more healthful, she said. But remember, just because you are eating lettuce doesnt mean the meal is low calorie. "Salads are good, but not if they are smothered with bacon, fried chicken, and fatty dressing," Zied said.

Sometimes, though, only a burger and fries will do, and if that is the case, try to downsize. If you usually order the biggest burger and large fries, order the smaller sizes, Zied said. "Size does matter."