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Food and Nutrition

Eating Out


You can enjoy eating out while following Canada's Food Guide. Many cafeterias, fast food shops and restaurants now offer healthier alternatives to their usual fare. Foods such as steamed vegetables, vegetable soups, fresh fruit salads, berries with yogurt and salads with dressing on the side, are just a few of the healthier options.

If you eat out often use the tips from Canada's Food Guide to help you with your menu selection:

  • Eat at least one dark green vegetable and one orange vegetable each day.
  • Choose vegetables and fruit prepared with little or no added fat, sugar or salt.
  • Make at least half of your grain products whole grain each day.
  • Choose grain products that are lower in fat, sugar or salt.
  • Drink skim, 1% or 2% milk each day. Drink fortified soy beverage if you do not drink milk.
  • Select lower fat milk alternatives.
  • Have meat alternatives such as bean, lentils and tofu often.
  • Eat at least two Food Guide Servings of fish each week.
  • Select lean meat and alternatives prepared with little or no added fat or salt.
  • Include a small amount of unsaturated fat each day.
  • Satisfy your thirst with water.
  • Limit foods and beverages high in calories, fat, sugar or salt.

Eat Well When Eating Out

  • Ask to see the nutrition information available for the menu items in your cafeteria, restaurant or fast food restaurant. Use it to help you choose the healthier menu options.
  • Treat your taste buds to something different. Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Caribbean, Greek, Indian, Middle Eastern and other ethnic cuisines offer healthy choices.
  • Choose dark mixed green salads with vegetables or fruit instead of higher fat Caesar, taco, potato or pasta salads. Order dressing on the side and use sparingly.
  • Choose tomato or vegetable based soups and pasta sauces instead of alfredo or cheese sauces.
  • Order sandwiches, subs or wraps with whole grain bread, buns or tortillas. Choose one spread instead of two; for example, mayonnaise or margarine, not both.
  • Choose baked, broiled, or steamed foods instead of breaded or deep-fried foods.
  • Enjoy the taste of foods without adding butter, margarine, gravy or rich sauces. Ask how your meal is prepared and request for the sauce to be omitted or served on the side.
  • Limit cakes, cookies and rich desserts. Get a smaller size or share with your family or friends.
  • Choose water, milk, fortified soy beverage or 100% juice instead of soft drinks or highly sweetened beverages.

Keep Serving Size in Mind
  • Some restaurants serve a lot more food than you need. Avoid super-sizing! Order a small appetizer or half a meal. If you are served too much food ask for a "take-home package" and keep the leftovers in the fridge for the next day!
  • Have the small sized drink and ask for a glass of water instead of ordering a large. You can add a lot of extra calories in your day from the beverages you drink.

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