Getting your kids to make healthier choices when eating out can be a struggle. When hungry, their natural tendency is to want hit the first fast food restaurant they come to. However, you can help them both learn how to make healthier choices in food and still enjoy eating out.
How To Make Healthier Choices
Firstly, if you have the time, choose a sit-down venue instead of fast food. Usually eateries serving Asian cuisine, seafood or offering a salad bar are healthier choices. If pressed for time and you have to stop for fast food. Order items that are grilled instead of fried.
Other healthier choices could include ordering a side salad with grilled chicken (but with a low-fat dressing on the side) instead of topping it with bacon, cheese and a high-fat dressing. Or go for a smaller portion of fries instead of super-sizing it. Avoid ordering items that boast batter-dipped, breaded or creamy as these items will be higher in unhealthy fats and sodium.
Grilled chicken strips are a healthier choice than chicken nuggets or a hamburger. Many fast food places now offer healthier choices on their kids’ menu that include fruit slices, yogurt and a variety of fat-free or low-fat milk in addition to the main entree. These meals are lower in saturated fat and offer higher nutritional value.
Plan To Make Healthier Choices
If you know where you will be eating, go online to the restaurant’s website before leaving home. Review their menu with your child and assist them in making healthier choices on what they will order once there. Not only is it an opportunity to teach your child how to make healthier choices in a non-rushed setting. It also prevents the impulse ordering of unhealthy food.
You are a role model to your kids. So you can’t expect them to order something healthy if you order a triple-patty burger with a super-size fries. Set the example by eating healthy food also.
Because we’re eating out more frequently now than even our parents did, teaching your child how to make healthier choices when eating out is a life-skill that will serve them well throughout their life. Don’t pass up this opportunity now only to wish you had done it later.