Even if you make good choices at home, it can be very difficult to maintain healthy eating habits at restaurants, parties or on-the-go. Keep reading for 12 tips to help you practice good nutrition in any situation.
- Take your time reviewing the menu and keep an eye out a special section or icons denoting “healthier” choices.
- Compare nutrition information if it’s available. Look for terms that indicate healthier preparations, such as: baked, braised, broiled, grilled, poached, roasted and steamed.
- Avoid options that likely higher saturated fat and calories – often indicated with terms like: batter-fried, breaded, buttered, creamed, crispy or pan-fried.
- Monitor your portion size. Order a regular size or ask about half- or child-sized portions – mega-sized servings are probably more than you need. For a lighter meal, order an appetizer instead of a main course.
- Include more vegetables in your meal by beginning with a soup or salad – or replace a starchy side with a salad or steamed vegetables. Follow up with a light main course.
- Choose a salad with a grilled protein like chicken or seafood as your main course. Request dressing on the side and use as needed.
- Load up your pizza with vegetable toppings. If you add meat, chose a lean ham, Canadian bacon, chicken or shrimp.
- Enjoy a variety of healthful foods from different cultures. Focus on dishes that emphasize vegetables and lean meats, seafood or beans.
- If choosing a sandwich, select lean turkey or chicken on whole grain bread. Ask for low-fat spreads, like mustard, ketchup or salsa. Don’t forget the veggies!
- Keep snacks out of sight in your work space, rather than in plain view, which may lead to mindless eating. Try to have protein-rich options that will fill you up, rather than empty calories.
- Need a quick dinner from the grocery store? Choose a rotisserie chicken, salad-in-a-bag and freshly baked bread for a healthy, easy meal. Or, try sliced lean roast beef, onion rolls, salad and fresh fruit.
- Always eating on the go? Tuck portable, nonperishable foods in your bag for an on-the-run meal. Some suggestions are peanut butter and crackers, granola bars, a piece of fresh fruit, trail mix, single serve packages of whole grain cereal.
If you could benefit from nutrition counseling, our registered dietitians are here to help. Learn more about our nutrition therapy services.