Missing McDonald's? Create Your Own Happy Meal With These 13 Great Healthy Takeaway Swaps

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Have you and the little ones been missing out on your weekly treat?

Craving your favourite fast food or takeaway during lockdown? Well, why not recreate them?

If there's one thing that you may be missing, it's the great British takeaways that we all know and love. Whether it be a spicy curry, those crispy fries or even your favourite burger, we know you can't wait until you can tuck-in to your heart's content.

But while you're waiting, we have just the thing to tide you over- DIY healthy takeaway foods that you and the family can enjoy and make in the meantime!

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Crispy Chicken Nuggets

Let's begin with a little finger food that all the family, especially the kids, will be sure to enjoy in case you're missing McDonald's.

You'll need:  450g  boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces, ½ tsp salt and pepper, 2 tsp olive oil, 6 tbsp bread crumbs- seasoned, 2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese and olive oil spray.

Don't worry if you don't have any panko breadcrumbs, simply use crushed cornflakes for a crunchy alternative instead!

Method:

Preheat your oven to 220°C, preparing a baking tray with a baking sheet sprayed with the olive oil spray.

Place 2 tsp of olive oil in a bowl, and fill another with the Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and panko, combining them to form a crumb-like mixture.

Wash and prepare the chicken, getting rid of any excess fat whilst cutting into small pieces.

Then, season with salt and pepper (and any other spices you may like) before putting it in the bowl with the olive oil. Mix well to ensure that the chicken is evenly coated.

Next, place a few pieces of chicken at a time into the breadcrumb mixture, ensuring they are covered well.

Place the pieces on the pre-prepared baking tray, lightly spraying the top with olive oil spray. Cook for 8-10 minutes, then turn over until cooked through.

Then prepare to munch and dip your homemade nuggets- find the original recipe here.

Quick and Easy Pitta Pizzas

For a healthier alternative to your typical takeaway, why not try making DIY pitta pizza with the kids?

Great Healthy Takeaway Swaps

You'll need: 4 pitta breads,  170g tomato sauce, 2 small tomatoes, 130 g lettuce,  fresh basil and 130 g cheese of your choice and any toppings you'd like to add- maybe some veggies or go meaty with some ham- it's up to you!

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare a baking tray with foil.

Chop the lettuce, tomatoes and any other toppings you'd like. If you need to, also grate your cheese.

Spread the tomato sauce on each of the pitta breads, topping it with the lettuce, tomatoes, fresh basil and get the kids to choose their own toppings. And of course, add a sprinkle of cheese!

Place on the baking tray and bake for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and melted.

Then eat to your heart's content!

Click here to find out more variations from the full recipe.

Delish Chicken Tikka Masala

Fancy your favourite Indian takeaway? Spicy curries with rice and naan for a nice meal in?

Check out this amazing and easy to make Chicken Tikka Masala recipe by Chetna Makan, who you might recognise from the Great British Bake Off in 2014.

You can make a salad, some pilau rice or naan to serve alongside!

Fish and Chunky Chips

Miss going to your local chippy? Why not try making your own fish and chips?

You'll need:  4 medium-sized potatoes, sunflower oil, ½ tsp paprika, 100g breadcrumbs, ½ lemon,  2 tbsp plain flour,  1 medium egg, beaten, 4 x white fish fillets.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 220°C/ Fan 180°C/Gas Mark 6.

Wash and chop the potatoes into chunky wedges for your chunky chips, mixing 1 tbsp oil, paprika and any other seasoning you'd like. Place on a baking tray with foil, spreading them evenly and cook for 30 minutes on a low shelf.

Then, prepare the fish!

For the fish, zest the lemon half and mix with the breadcrumbs, seasoning and putting in a plate.

In another, place the flour and also place the beaten egg in a bowl.

Then, coat the fish fillet lightly in flour, dip in the egg and then coat with the breadcrumb mixture.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a non-stick frying pan that is large enough and then fry on either side until crisp and golden (roughly 2 minutes).

When you have done this for each fish, then place them onto the baking tray.

Cook the fish on a higher shelf than the chips for 8-10 minutes. You may need a shorter or longer time depending on how thick the fillet is.

Then it should be ready to serve and enjoy for a Friday night treat- yum!

Check out the original recipe here for some more inspo!

Try Yummy Vegetable Stir Fry

Fancy a Chinese takeaway? Why not try your hand at a classic veggie stir fry?

Great Healthy Takeaway Swaps

You'll need: 250g medium egg noodles, 1 tbsp tomato puree, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce, 1 tbsp sunflower oil, small grated fresh ginger, 300g pack of stir fry vegetables/ your own selection of healthy veggies.

Method:

Prepare any vegetables you may like to add, washing and chopping them accordingly.

Fill a pan full of water, enough for the noodles to boil in. Add the noodles to the pan and bring back to the boil, cooking them for 4 minutes and then draining.

In a bowl, mix together the tomato puree, soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce, along with 150ml water.

In another pan, or ideally a wok if you have one at home, heat the sunflower oil, adding the ginger initially.

Then, add the pack of stir fry vegetables and any others of your choice, frying for 2 minutes.

Combine with the noodles and sauce you prepared earlier, cooking in the pan/wok for another 3 minutes or until everything is cooked well.

Then, portion out the noodles to give you and the family a tasty and healthy takeaway!

For more ideas, check out the recipe here.

Tantalising Turkey Burgers

Missing your McDonald's or KFC burgers but don't want to make something with too many calories?

Why not substitute your classic beef or chicken burger with a healthier, leaner, low-calorie turkey option at home?

With 179 calories per burger, you'll be able to enjoy your favourite and popular meals with no excuses!

You'll need: 450g turkey mince, 85g porridge oats, 1 large onion, chopped finely,   2 crushed garlic cloves, 2 tbsp olive oil, 100g apricot chopped, 1 grated large carrot, 1 egg, beaten.

Method:

Preheat the oven to  220°C/ Fan 180°C/Gas Mark 6.

Get a pan and heat 1 tbsp oil, frying the chopped onion until it softens. Then, add and fry off the garlic before adding the oats, cooking for 2 minutes.

Then, take the mixture and set it aside for later, tipping into a large bowl.

When the mixture has cooled down, add the remaining ingredients, mixing and seasoning well.

After combining with your hands, make 8 burger patties by forming balls and then flattening them.

With your remaining olive oil, sear the burgers on both sides for around 4 minutes in a large non-stick pan.

Then, cook in the oven on a baking tray for a further 10-15 minutes.

It's then up to you! Enjoy in a classic burger bun or go for the healthier salad option with lean greens and lighter sauces for a low-calorie alternative.

Look at the full recipe for further ideas and a chunky tomato chutney dip.

Sweet and Sour Pork

Want your fill of some tangy and delicious Chinese takeaway?

Have a look at this homemade recipe that will beat takeaway any day:

Pair with some fried rice and you're good to go!

Hungry for more? Check out these healthy alternatives to tantalise your tastebuds:

DIY Mexican burritos

Veggie Bean burgers that the kids can easily tuck into!

Vegan Cauliflower popcorn (a greener alternative to popcorn chicken!)

Delightful Pad Thai

Zesty Fish Tacos

Leftover Sunday Lunch Lamb Biryani

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents. 

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.  

Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong. 

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Avneet Bains
Forever learning new things

Avneet is in her final year at university and she loves to listen to music, read and spend time adventuring with family and friends. She has loved exploring and learning new things from a young age, especially travelling abroad to far off places. One of her favourite places to visit has been India, where she visited her ancestral village and the Golden Temple in Amritsar.