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Dining Out

Posted by Nutrition Professionals Australia on 10 June 2014
Dining Out

Eating healthy when you go out for a meal can be a challenge.

Here are some great tips to improve your food choices:

  • Check the menu online before you leave home, so that you are already familiar with the types of foods you can choose from.
  • Don’t skip meals during the day as you will be hungry and more likely to over indulge.
  • Speak with the waiter or chef when you arrive. They will be able to explain which are the healthiest choices or can modify a dish for you.
  • Ask for a jug or bottle of water to make sure you do not quench thirst with high calorie drinks.
  • Try two entrée serves rather than an entrée and main.
  • Share a course with a friend.
  • You might order an entree for your main meal with salad or vegetables on the side.
  • Choose foods that are steamed, poached, grilled, baked.
  • Ask about ingredients in unfamiliar dishes. Ensure you are clear about what you’re ordering.
  • Avoid crumbed or battered foods. “Lightly battered” is still battered and be cooked in oil.
  • Avoid pastry dishes or dishes with creamy or cheesy sauces- or ask for the sauce to be served separately.
  • Remove any visible fat on food when it is served e.g. take the skin off of chicken, trim fat off of meat.
  • Some meals which sound healthy  may be high in fat, e.g.  Caesar salad will generally contain egg, bacon, cheese and  creamy dressing, resulting in a high fat dish.
  • Choose unbuttered breads. Garlic and herb breads are buttered before they are served.
  • Order a vegetable or salad dish rather than extra bread.
  • Ask for vegetables to be served steamed, and salads to be served with dressing on the side.
  • Use buffet meals to fill most of your plate with salad and vegetables. Opt for those with minimal sauces or dressings. Choose a small plate.
  • Skip the rich desserts – most restaurants will provide a fresh fruit salad.
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with diet soft drinks, water or soda water.
  • Soda lime and bitters or tomato juice make refreshing low calorie drinks.
  • If you have a coffee at the end of the meal, ask for skim milk and avoid the chocolate or biscuit that might be served with it.
  • Enjoy your food. Relax, eat slowly and stop eating and drinking when you are full. You don’t have to eat everything on your plate if you have had enough.


Nutrition Professionals AustraliaAuthor:Nutrition Professionals Australia
About: NPA is a team of Accredited Practising Dietitians who provide specialist and expert nutrition advice to aged care and retirement homes across Australia. We specialise in assisting organisations to meet Accreditation and Best Practice standards.
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