If you’re heading out to a restaurant with your family, these tips will give you confidence to make healthy choices, while enjoying everyone’s company. This can, however, be challenging for your little ones since the kid’s menu usually includes pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, fries and the ever-popular chicken nuggets. What’s a parent to do?
- Ask questions – Ask the waiter how each dish is prepared. Stay away from fried or breaded options. Choose grilled or roasted whenever possible.
- Get what you want, how you want it – Don’t be afraid to switch things up on the menu. Most restaurants are accommodating, so make the “vegetables instead of fries” switch and feel good about it!
- Do your Homework – Visit the restaurant’s website ahead of time for healthy menu selections. They may even have the nutrition facts on their items too. If not, you can always ‘Google’ for this information. Check out www.healthydiningfinder.com for helpful restaurant dining details.
- Have them eat like an adult, just cut the portions – Split a healthier adult entrée or allow your child to take home half the dish for later. Ask for the take-home box right when you order and pack up half before you start the meal. Don’t forget super salads make a great meal and help families meet their veggie quota -just ask for dressing on the side.
- Ban the buffets – They set up your family for overeating. With so many flavors available, you’ll want to try a ‘little bit of everything’. Remember this trick: Instead of going up for seconds, wait at least 20 minutes after eating your first portion. If you’re still hungry, then go ahead. If not, head to the parking lot.
- Savor the food and the moment – Family meals are a wonderful way to spend time with each other. It is also opportune for food lessons. Teach your children how to eat slowly and without distractions. That way, they can really enjoy their food. To slow things down, teach them to put their forks down or sip water in between bites. Aim for the actual eating time to last at least 20 minutes.
We all know teenagers love to eat out too! Here are some helpful hints especially for them: Eating out tweens and teens.