Eating out in today’s world requires planning and the ability to choose carefully from the menu. A few tips help keep your caloric intake within a healthy range and improve the nutrition content of your meals:
- Keep your portions small: choose from the child’s menu; split the meal with your dining partner; ask for a take home container and put half the meal into the container before you start eating.
- Watch the freebies: ask the server not to bring fried tortilla chips, breads and butter, and oils for dipping.
- Avoid high calorie ingredients: request salad dressing on the side and dip the salad ingredients; skip the cheese, oils, creamy sauces, and fatty meats like pepperoni; watch for words like “fried” and “crispy.”
- Don’t drink your calories: free soda refills add hundreds of extra calories; coffee creamers and flavorings, smoothies, and sweetened teas are all calorie rich.
- Plan ahead: check out the menu on line and choose your meal before you leave home; eat at restaurants at which you know the menu and know you can order healthy food happily; stick to your choice when you order and congratulate yourself on your wise choice.