With its fried chicken sandwiches and waffle fries, Chick-fil-A is not often thought of as a healthy fast food option. However, the restaurant does offer some lighter choices for customers looking to watch their waistline. So which Chick-fil-A sandwich provides the most nutrition for the fewest calories? Let’s take a look at the nutritional information to find the healthiest option on the menu.
When examining the Chick-fil-A menu, there are three main sandwiches that stand out as potential “healthiest” options:
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich
- Grilled Chicken Club
- Grilled Nuggets Kid’s Meal
Each of these contains grilled chicken, rather than the breaded and fried chicken that Chick-fil-A is known for. The grilled preparation style likely makes these choices lower in calories and fat than their fried counterparts. Let’s compare the nutrition facts side-by-side:
Nutrition Facts Comparison
|Sandwich||Calories||Fat (g)||Carbs (g)||Protein (g)|
|Grilled Chicken Sandwich||320||5||41||44|
|Grilled Chicken Club||350||8||42||48|
|Grilled Nuggets Kid’s Meal||215||5||23||28|
Based solely on the nutrition numbers, the Grilled Nuggets Kid’s Meal appears to be the healthiest choice. It contains the fewest calories at just 215 per meal, compared to 320-350 calories for the sandwiches. It is also lower in fat, carbs, and protein than the larger sandwich options.
The Verdict: Grilled Nuggets Kids Meal
Based on comparing the basic nutritional profiles, the Grilled Nuggets Kid’s Meal is the healthiest sandwich option at Chick-fil-A. Here’s a quick recap of why:
- Lowest in calories at just 215 per meal
- Lower in fat, carbs, and protein than larger sandwiches
- Made with grilled chicken instead of fried
- Served with a fruit cup and low-fat milk, adding nutrients
While the Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Grilled Chicken Club are also reasonably healthy, the kid’s meal nudges them out with its slightly lower calorie count and fat content.
However, there are some caveats to consider with the Grilled Nuggets Kid’s Meal:
- Smaller portion size may not satisfy larger adults
- Have to order off kids menu to get meal
- Fruit cup adds sugar and calories vs. salad or vegetable sides
So in summary, while not perfect, the Grilled Nuggets Kid’s Meal is the best bet for watching your weight when eating at Chick-fil-A. Pair it with a sensible side like a green salad instead of fries, and you have a pretty balanced fast food meal.
Tips for Eating Healthy at Chick-fil-A
If you want to maintain a healthy diet when eating at Chick-fil-A, follow these tips:
Choose Grilled Chicken
Stick to grilled chicken sandwiches and nuggets instead of breaded and fried options to save on calories, fat, and sodium.
Watch Portion Sizes
Opt for lighter kid’s meals or smaller sandwich sizes to control portions.
Load Up On Veggies
Order salads topped with grilled chicken and vinaigrette dressing. Add extra veggies from the salad bar.
Say No To Sugary Drinks
Avoid sodas and sweet tea and opt for water or unsweetened tea instead.
The chick-fil-a sauces and dressings can add calories, fat, and sodium, so use sparingly.
Order one meal to split between two people to control portions and cost.
Healthiest Menu Items
Beyond the Grilled Nuggets Kid’s Meal, here are some other healthy choices at Chick-fil-A:
- Grilled Chicken Salad
- Spicy Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Market Salad
- Fresh Fruit Cup
- Greek Yogurt Parfait
- Superfood Side with Broccolini and Kale
- Egg White Grill
- Yogurt Parfait
Healthiest Dressing and Sauce Options
Chick-fil-A’s signature sauces and dressings can derail a healthy meal with added sugar, salt, and fat. Here are some of the lighter options to pick from:
|Item||Calories||Fat (g)||Carbs (g)|
|Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette (2.5 oz)||180||18||7|
|Light Italian (1.5 oz)||80||6||2|
|Balsamic Vinaigrette (1.5 oz)||140||14||2|
|Grilled Chicken Sauce (1.5 oz)||100||0||21|
The Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette packs a lot of calories for a 2.5 oz serving, so use a light hand. The Grilled Chicken Sauce is relatively low in fat but high in sugar.
Healthier Kid’s Meal Combinations
You can make the Grilled Nuggets Kid’s Meal healthier by swapping out some sides:
- Healthier: Grilled nuggets, fresh fruit cup, low-fat milk
- Less Healthy: Grilled nuggets, waffle potato fries, soda
- Healthier: Grilled nuggets, superfood side broccolini and kale, water
- Less Healthy: Fried nuggets, waffle potato fries, lemonade
Opt for grilled chicken, fruits and veggies, and water or milk as the best Kid’s Meal picks.
Healthiest Sandwich Customizations
When ordering sandwiches, you can make healthier choices by customizing:
- Get grilled chicken instead of fried
- Skip the bun to reduce carbs
- Load up on tomato, lettuce, onion for veggies
- Opt for avocado lime ranch dressing instead of mayo-based sauces
- Ask for a fruit cup instead of fries for the side
Is Chick-fil-A Healthy Overall? Experts Weigh In
While Chick-fil-A does offer some healthier alternatives, experts tend to agree that most menu items should still be consumed in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet.
- High-protein options available like grilled chicken
- Several healthier side choices like fruit and yogurt
- Salads and breakfast options provide some lighter fare
- Detailed nutritional info available to inform choices
Areas for Improvement
- Fried chicken and dough-based sandwiches still predominant
- Signature sauces and dressings are high in fat, salt and sugar
- Kid-targeting marketing promotes less healthy options
- Limited vegetarian or vegan choices
Overall, most nutritionists consider Chick-fil-A a “sometimes” food. While not completely off-limits, fried and sugar-laden items should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a diet focused on whole foods.
Healthiest Chick-fil-A Orders for Different Diets
Here are some of the best Chick-fil-A orders tailored to specific dietary needs or restrictions:
- Grilled chicken nuggets with fruit cup
- Grilled chicken salad with vinaigrette
- Egg white grill breakfast sandwich
- Garden salad with vinaigrette
- Fruit cup with greek yogurt parfait
- Cinnamon oatmeal
- Garden salad with vinaigrette dressing
- Fresh fruit cup
- Kale crunch side salad
- Grilled chicken sandwich ‘protein style’ no bun
- Grilled nuggets
- Egg white grill without muffin
- Grilled nuggets kid’s meal with fruit and milk
- Yogurt parfait with sliced apples
Healthiest Chick-fil-A Breakfast Choices
Chick-fil-A serves breakfast up until 10:30am. Here are the top healthy breakfast items:
|Item||Calories||Fat (g)||Carbs (g)||Protein (g)|
|Egg White Grill||250||8||24||31|
|Chicken, Egg and Cheese on English Muffin||670||35||55||38|
Egg white sandwiches, yogurt, oatmeal, and fruit are lower calorie, fat, and carb options for breakfast.
Chick-fil-A is not exactly a dieters paradise. However, with some simple substitutions and smart menu picks, you can enjoy their chicken without derailing your healthy eating goals. Stick to grilledchicken, salads, and lighter sides, watch your portions, and balance it within your larger diet. While not the pinnacle of nutrition, you can eat reasonably well at Chick-fil-A.