Sunday, March 11, 2012

8 Quick Tips for Restaurant Dining for KIDS and Adults

Wonder what to ORDER and still nourish your kids and your SELF?

Here are some TIPS and RESOURCES!

It was a wonderful surprise to find that so many third graders are excited about making HEALTHY choices!  You may be surprised at what they are willing to try!  We ALMOST all agreed we could make Friday "white milk" day for lunch!  I hope that SOME of those kids actually did some experimenting at lunch on Friday!

  1. Eat a healthy SNACK on the way, such as a handful of nuts in the car!  If everyone arrives starved, wise choices are hard to make!
  2. SHARE a meal with another family member, or take half HOME -- for an instant 50% reduction in calories, fat, sugar, and sodium!  Share a DESSERT -- in pairs, or even FAMILY style! 
  3. Bulk up on VEGGIES and FRUITS, hold the fries for an extra side of steamed broccoli!  Talk up these items before you get to the restaurant -- the crunchiness of fresh carrots or sweetness of fresh fruit!  Discussing the types of foods you'll be ordering prepares them, and us!
  4. Pick a healthy beverage! Order low-fat milk, water, or 100% juice.  Combine chocolate and white milk, or combine carbonated water with juice or even pop.  If you're used to pop, drinking less because it's combined with fuzzy water (as my kids call it) is a SMALL change that'll LAST!
  5. Smart SAUCE choices! 
    1. Salad dressing on the SIDE
    2. Choose RED sauce instead of creamy sauce 
    3. Choose BROTH-BASED soup over creamy soup 
  6. Choose WHOLE grain breads and pastas, when available.
  7. Provide HEALTHY CHOICES for kids -- they like to have their independence, feel in control.
  8. When in doubt, simply select from healthy STARRED items -- many restaurants are making an effort to provide healthy options  Check out the National Restaurant Association's Kids Live Well Initiative!
These are the participating restaurants!  Here is a Healthy Dinner Finder search :)

Plus, here are two posts I wrote about ordering healthy at CHIPOLTE and CURRITOS (burrito place at the CLE airport).

This is the criteria restaurants are following when providing healthy meals!

Here are some tips for a variety of cuisines from Mexican, to Italian, to Asian food and more!

Click on the following link for other creative healthy dining TIPS!...the BUFFET tips are especially great!

COMMENTS: What are you going to change about your order next time YOU eat out?

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