Eating well when eating out
Choosing healthier foods when eating out
Eating out often means consuming foods that are higher in fat and sodium. But you can still eat well by making a few easy changes:
- Choose a healthier cooking style. Cut down on fat by choosing foods that are baked, broiled, poached, or grilled instead of breaded or deep-fried.
- Enjoy a colourful meal. Try steamed vegetables, vegetable soups, fresh fruit or vegetable salads, and berries with yogurt.
- Order healthier salads. Dark green salads are usually healthier for you than higher fat Caesar, taco, potato, or pasta salads.
- Ask for sauce and dressing "on the side." Ask for gravy, sauce, and salad dressing on the side and use a small amount.
- Limit sodium. Ask for your meal to be cooked without salt or MSG (monosodium glutamate), a seasoning that is very high in sodium. For Asian-style foods, ask for half the soy sauce.
- Pick a better pasta sauce. Order tomato-based pasta sauces instead of alfredo or cheese sauces.
- Choose whole grains. Order sandwiches, subs, or wraps with whole grain bread, buns, or tortillas. Choose one spread instead of two (for example, mayonnaise or margarine, not both).
- Limit cakes, cookies, and rich desserts. Get a smaller size or share with someone.
- Drink smart. Choose water, milk (skim, 1%, or 2%), fortified soy beverage, or 100% juice instead of soft drinks or sweetened beverages.
Keeping portions under control
Most restaurants serve a lot more food than you need. These tips will help you keep portion sizes reasonable.
- Skip super-sized meal deals. The extra calories, fat, and sodium aren't worth it.
- Avoid all-you-can-eat buffets.
- Order an appetizer and a small salad instead of an entrée.
- Share your meal with someone.
- Take home half your meal and keep leftovers in the fridge for the next day.
- Build a healthy meal using the Eat Well Plate.
Eating out with kids
Eating healthy when you're dining out can be easy for everyone--even kids. Encourage children to:
- Choose a meal that includes foods from the four food groups.
- Skip the kids' menu and order a healthy entrée from the regular menu.
- Order fresh fruit for dessert, or a small salad or veggies and dip as an appetizer.
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