List Four Different Categories of Foods That Are Convenience Foods

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Americans spend over $110 billion on fast food each year.
Americans spend over $110 billion on fast food each year. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Dealing with the demands of day to day life can make it difficult to plan a regular menu. Convenience foods come in a variety of forms and can be a quick alternative to traditional home cooked meals. From canned goods to drive through dinners, convenience foods offer quick access for meals on the go.

Fast Food

Drive through restaurants and carry out menus offer an assortment of meal options for busy families. From pizza and pasta to cheeseburgers and fries, fast food restaurants are often the fastest option for a quick meal on the go. While some fast food products are high in fat and sodium, many fast food restaurants offer diet friendly alternatives such as chicken dishes and salads to help make it easier to eat healthy while in a rush.

Snacks

Snack foods such as crackers, donuts and peanuts are usually pre-packaged and can be found at most grocery and convenience stores. Snack foods are usually canned or bagged to preserve freshness and are sometimes used as meal replacements or for a quick bite in between meals. Although many snack foods are highly processed, healthy alternatives such as pre-packaged yogurts, fruits or vegetables and dip are also available in most grocery store refrigerated areas.

Canned Foods

Canned foods come in a wealth of varieties and can serve as quick alternatives to freshly prepared side dishes or main courses. Canned products such as soups, pasta sauces, vegetables and fruits often can take a great deal of time out of typical meal preparations and are often used to create complete meals. In addition to traditional store bought canned foods, many farmers markets offer freshly canned fruits and vegetables, which are often lower in sodium and preservatives.

Pre-Made Salads

For those who are trying to save time, pre-packaged salads can be a quick and convenient alternative to hand made salads. Pre-packaged salads come in an assortment of varieties such as pre-washed lettuce and carrots or deli made specialties such as potato, chicken or pasta salads. Most pre-made salads must be refrigerated, but can easily be placed into a snap-lock container and tossed into a lunch bag for a healthy alternative to fast food.

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