Dining Out Tips

One of the treats of eating out is the fun of having a dessert.  You don't need to deprive yourself or your kids, just order carefully.  Add some fruit to your ice cream or choose yogurt.

The next time you go out to eat as a family, share a large dessert!  This way you can have fun and your portions are smaller.  Then just eat lightly the next day!

If you are eating out tonight, keep portion sizes under control by ordering two appetizers as your meal.  By choosing two small appetizers you can have the variety without overindulging.

Buffet style meals are an American tradition and lots of fun.  Make a real event out of by enjoying each course.  Pick foods that give you a balanced diet:  Fresh fruit, Vegetables and Proteins should be a part of every meal.  Your family will have more time to talk and you may even eat less!

Try to eat a small or a healthy appetizer before your meal to help fill you up before the entrée arrives.  If you avoid the bread basket, you will avoid some calories.

Once you have heard yourself a "good serving", as for the rest in a doggie bag.  Remember that a regular serving of meat is different than a serving of vegetables.  Your doggie bag will then be a great meal for the next day.

Order sauces and dressings on the side.  This way you stay in control of how much you consume.  If you eat 1-3 times a week, one less tablespoon can add up at the end of the month!

Talk to your kids before you go out to eat and let them know that vegetables will be part of their meal.  Make if fun by telling them stories about what your favorite vegetables were as a child.  Pick a few to eat together that evening!

Avoid the bread basket.  Order a small salad as an appetizer to help fill you up before the entrée arrives.

Don't be shy.  Ask the server about ingredients or preparation methods for the dishes you're not familiar with.  You deserve to know what you're eating.

Ask the server to substitute low-fat foods for high-fat ones.  For example, ask for steamed vegetables in place of French fries or fresh fruit salad in place of mayonnaise-laden coleslaw.

Ask to have your food prepared without butter or cream sauces.  Order vegetable side dishes and be sure to ask the server to leave off any sauces or butter.

If you're familiar with the menu, decide what you'll order before you enter the restaurant.  That will help you avoid the temptation of ordering something that won't pamper your heart.

If you're trying a new place, take some time to study the menu.  This will help you avoid making split-second - and often regrettable decisions.

If your companions don't mid, have the server remove unneeded temptations, such as butter.

Drink two full glasses of water before your food arrives.

Good bread-basket choices are melba toast and whole-grain rolls.  Avoid higher-fat muffins and croissants, and skip the butter or margarine.

Fast food restaurants now offer several healthier eating choices. Try substituting something healthy for a fried item.

If your family is eating together at a fast food chain, share those French fries or onion rings.  It will save you money and help your heart!