Can you Eat Healthy When Eating Out?

Good eating habits are often forgotten when eating out. Even parents sometimes forget they are setting examples for their children by what they order in restaurants. Here are some tips to help parents and children keep healthy eating in mind when eating out.

–  Bread or rolls are often brought first to the table. Ask for whole wheat breads, if possible. When you add the butter and/or oil, you increase the fat and calorie intake. Eat in moderation.

–  When you choose a soup, remember that cream- based soups are higher in fat and calories than other soups.  A soup can be a great appetizer, as most are low in calories and you have a feeling of being full quickly.

–  If you’re looking to eat less, order two appetizers or an appetizer and a salad as your meal.

–  As key ingredients to your meal, choose dishes with fruits and vegetables.  Both fruits and vegetables are great sources of dietary fiber as well as many vitamins and minerals.

–  Order salad dressings or sauces on the side.  This way you have control over how much you add to your food.

– Ask to have fish and chicken grilled rather than fried. Request that food be grilled without butter or oil, or prepared with very little.

–  Always look for food on the menu that’s baked, grilled, broiled, poached, or steamed.  These cooking methods use less fat in the cooking process and are usually much lower in calories.

–  If you get a choice of side dishes, get a baked potato or steamed vegetables instead of French fries.

–  When ordering a baked potato, ask for salsa instead of sour cream, butter, cheese, or even bacon.  Salsa is very low in calories and provides a healthy alternative with plenty of flavor and spice.

–  Choose foods made with whole grains. In addition to whole wheat bread, look for dishes made with brown rice and whole wheat pasta.

–  When you order pasta dishes, order tomato-based sauces instead of the cream-based sauces. Tomato-based sauces are much lower in fat and calories and you can count this as a vegetable!

–  If you crave dessert, look for something with low fat, such as berries or fruit.

–  If you order dessert, share with a friend. Half of the dessert will equal half of the calories.

–  Drink water or tea instead of soda or other sweetened beverages. Sodas are loaded with sugars and not healthy for young or old. Avoid artificially sweetened drinks as well.

–  When you are full, stop eating.  Listen to your body and what it tells you.

–  When you are full, take home what you have left. This part of your meal can serve as a second meal, or part of a meal, later.  You will get almost two meals for the price of one.

– Always remember not to deprive yourself of the foods you truly love.  All types of foods can fit into a well balanced diet.

Eating healthy while eating out can be challenging, but it can be done and enjoyed. You will thank yourself later.

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