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10 Tips for Healthier Eating During Magical Dining Month

Categories: Nutrition

Putting Magic Back Into Dining

It’s Magical Dining Month in Central Florida! Plan to visit some area restaurants for this annual event. August 25 through October 1, over 100 Orlando area restaurants will offer prix fixe dinners for just $35. See participating restaurants.

Here are 10 tips for selecting healthier choices when dining out.

1. Consider Your Drink

Choose water, fat-free or low-fat milk, unsweetened tea, and other drinks without added sugars to complement your meal.

2. Savor a Salad

Start your meal with a salad packed with vegetables to help you feel satisfied sooner. Ask for dressing on the side and use a small amount of it.

3. Share a Main Dish

Divide a main entree between family and friends. Ask for small plates for everyone at the table.

4. Select from the Sides

Order a side dish or an appetizer-sized portion instead of a regular entree. They’re usually served on smaller plates and in smaller amounts.

5. Pack Your Snack

Pack fruit, sliced vegetables, low-fat string cheese, or unsalted nuts to eat during road trips or long commutes. No need to stop for other food when these snacks are ready-to-eat.

6. Fill Your Plate with Veggies and Fruit

Stir-fries, kabobs, or vegetarian menu items usually have more vegetables. Select fruits as a side dish or dessert.

7. Compare the Calories, Fat, and Sodium

Many menus now include nutrition information. Look for items that are lower in calories, saturated fat, and sodium. Check with your server if you don’t see them on the menu. For more information, check the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) website.

8. Pass on the Buffet

Have an item from the menu and avoid the “all-you-can-eat” buffet. Steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes have fewer calories than foods that are fried in oil or cooked in butter.

9. Get Your Whole Grains

Request 100% whole-wheat breads, rolls, and pasta when choosing sandwiches, burgers, or main dishes.

10. Quit the “Clean Your Plate” Club

Decide to save some for another meal. Take leftovers home in a container and chill in the refrigerator right away.

Need encouragement or reminding to eat healthier? Download the printable version of the list above for easier access later!

Information courtesy of the USDA

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