In the current issue of Family Circle, the Alpers, a family of four in Leucadia, California, admit they’re “convenience eaters” who rely heavily on the corner taco stand. Their daughters, 10 and 15, are also picky eaters.

Mexican food, a Golden State staple, solves many dining dilemmas, and it can be a nutritional best bet—as long as you make smart choices. In the FC article, registered dietitian Andrea C. Harrison, president of Nutrition at Work in San Diego, advised the family to:

  • Choose whole beans over refried.
  • Avoid tortilla chips and sour cream, which add calories.
  • Enjoy guacamole, but don’t go overboard. Avocados contain monounsaturated fat (the “good” fat), but the calories can add up quickly, according to Harrison.

Canned beans are easy to find at your local natural and organic food store, with several brands available. Try Eden Foods Organic Black Beans, Libby’s Organic Black Beans or Westbrae Natural Organic Pinto Beans. Just remember to drain and rinse them thoroughly before using. This reduces sodium and sugar content. (Sugars make beans harder to digest, often causing flatulence.)

Click here to learn how to prepare meals with dried beans.