Healthy Choices While Eating Out

Most people like to go out for dinner from time to time. But eating out several times per week can lead to unhealthy choices. Below are some tips for going to a restaurant or other places to eat that are adapted from the Unlock’s guide to Eating Out.

Choose lower fat and whole grain products such as:

  • Whole wheat, rye or multi-grain breads, rolls, tortillas.
  • Bagels, pancakes, English muffins.
  • Hot and cold cereals.
  • Pasta, rice, couscous, quinoa, barley.
  • Avoid high-fat foods such as croissants, danishes, donuts, some muffins.
  • Choose broth-based instead of cream-based soup (vegetable soup counts as one serving of vegetables.)
  • Choose meals that include vegetables, but avoid deep-fried vegetables or vegetables in butter, cream, cheese, peanut or coconut sauce.
  • Salads are a good choice, but be aware that dressing may be loaded in fat, sugar, and preservatives (asking for salad dressing on the side and using just a little will help.)
  • Choose a meat, fish, poultry or alternative prepared using a low-fat cooking method such as steaming, broiling, roasting, baking and barbecuing.
  • Avoid breaded and fried food.
  • Portion-size control is important, so if it’s bigger than a deck of cards, consider taking some home for another meal.
  • Choose lower fat milk such as 2%, 1% or skim milk, and choose chocolate milk as a good alternative to a milkshake.
  • Choose a low-fat dessert – fresh, canned or frozen fruit is best though other good options include milk pudding, sherbet, gelatin, angel food cake and low-fat frozen yogurt.
  • For the kids, ask for milk with children’s meals instead of soft drinks.


What Restaurants Can Do

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit provides support to food service operators who want to offer healthy menu options for their guests. Check out our Restaurateur's Guide to Healthy Menus, Special Diets & Food Safety (PDF). Inside you will find information on:

  • Customer eating habits
  • Moving towards a healthier menu
  • Stepping up the kids menu
  • Food allergies
  • Keeping your food safe


For Further Information

Call the Nutrition Program: (807) 625-5900

or toll-free 1-888-294-6630

Last Updated: 15/11/2018