Life is getting busier and busier, and that means people are eating out more and more. While this often is a necessity for some families, it's always a special treat for the kids. But can eating out, even occasionally, be healthy for your child?
How to choose the right restaurant for your family
- Choose a restaurant that caters to children
- Match your eating-out schedule with your child's meal schedule
- Before ordering food, ask how it is prepared
- Let your child choose what he wants to eat;
- Instead of trying a new dish, order your child's favourite food
Tips on how to make healthy menu choices when eating out with your child
- Start with a salad, and ask for lemon and oil salad dressing
- Avoid mayonnaise on burgers and sandwiches. Use ketchup, mustard or barbecue sauce instead.
- When ordering pizza, go for the thin crust and vegetarian topping.
- Order milk, fruit juice or water instead of a soft drink.
- Ask that beverages be served with the meal and not beforehand.
- Stick to baked, grilled or boiled items. Avoid fried items. Ask to substitute fries with a baked potato or salad
- Avoid high-calorie, high-fatfood
- If regular portions are too big for one child, share the order between two children, or with a parent
- Choose healthy desserts like fruit salad or vanilla ice cream, instead of cakes and chocolates
How to order home-delivered foods that are healthier?
Ordering food for home delivery has become common, especially because it's convenient if you haven't cooked that day or want a change of menu. In such situations, it's easy to get carried away and order foods that are not healthy. Here are a few menu items that are healthier:
- Side salad
- Grilled chicken sandwich
- Small hamburgers with vegetables (skip the mayonnaise and fries)
- Thin crust vegetarian pizza
- Baked potatoes, baked beans, corn on the cob or mashed potatoes
Always remember that it's easy to be tempted by unhealthy foods when eating out or ordering for home delivery. Try to minimize fried foods and calorie-laden sweets, and order more vegetables and fruits. This will help make your family healthier and prevent diseases in the future.
(This article is developed by the NIDO® Child Development Expert Panel)