Tips For Eating Healthy When Eating Out

Amy Long Carrera, MS, RD, CNSC, CWCMS
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
02/26/16  6:16 PM PST
Eating Healthy When Eating Out

Want to know about eating healthy when eating out? Enjoying a meal out doesn’t have to ruin your good eating habits. If you plan ahead and ask questions about menu options, you can eat healthy when eating out without wrecking your nutrition goals. Here’s how to make smart choices to stay on track and stay healthy.


  • Order whole grain pancakes and top with fruit instead of butter and syrup.
  • Get fruit instead of juice or ask for a kid-sized glass.
  • Stuff an egg white omelet with veggies.
  • Enhance your coffee with soy milk or fat free milk instead of half and half.


  • Start with a salad packed with veggies to help control hunger.
  • Ask for salad dressing on the side.
  • Order your sandwich on whole-wheat bread or wrapped in a whole wheat pita or tortilla.
  • When your food is delivered, set aside or pack half of it to go immediately.


  • Choose main dishes that include vegetables, such as stir fries, kebabs or pasta with a tomato sauce.
  • Order steamed, grilled or broiled dishes instead of those that are fried or sautéed.
  • Order an appetizer-sized portion or a side dish instead of an entrée.
  • Share a main dish with a friend so that you’re both eating healthy when eating out.


  • Choose fruits for dessert most often.
  • Share a dessert with one or more friends.


  • Pack fresh fruit, cut-up vegetables, low-fat string cheese sticks or a handful of unsalted nuts to help you avoid stopping for sweet or fatty snacks.

General Tips

  • Choose “small” or “medium” sized portions.
  • Resign from the “clean your plate club.” When you’ve eaten enough, leave the rest or take it to-go.
  • Ask for water or order unsweetened tea, or other drinks without added sugars.

Adapted from

Recent Nutrition

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