Tips for Eating Out

Eating out when travelling, at restaurants, or when meeting in large groups is a fun and enjoyable experience – and a favourite past time of the authors!

However, it is common that the types of foods available when eating away from home are high in fat, sugar and salt, and low in vitamins, minerals and fibre. If you find yourself eating out on a regular basis, try some of these strategies to ensure that you are eating enough from your meals to fuel your body with the ‘right stuff’

Water is the best choice of drink

  • Make water your main drink with your meal
  • Limit alcohol, soft drinks, juices and cordials or alternate with water

Reduce your portions

  • Choose small or entrée sizes for main meals and share a salad to fill you up instead
  • Share a dessert between two, or choose fruit instead
  • For pizza, ask for a thin crust and half the amount of cheese
  • Eat slowly and to your hunger. You do not have to finish everything on your plate and may even be able to take it home to eat as leftovers tomorrow

Load up on vegetables

  • Order a side salad or roast vegetables as an entrée, if others in your group are ordering entrees. Try for a 50:50 ratio of veggie to non-veggie entrées
  • Ask for vegetables or salad instead of chips with burgers, or fish meals
  • Split two main meals between two people, and make sure one of them is a salad or roast vegetables

Reducing fat (and therefore reducing excess kilojoules)

  • Choose lean meats, skinless chicken, or go for fish and seafood
  • Choose steamed, poached, baked, roasted or grilled instead of fried, battered or crumbed
  • Ask for dressings on the side and add small amounts to your meal
  • Choose tomato based, rather than white/cream based sauces, on pasta

Plan ahead

  • Bring healthy food choices with you, and pack water if travelling
  • If eating at a restaurant with a group, find a menu online or call ahead and ask if healthier options can be provided including:-
    • Salad instead of chips
    • Wholegrain wraps or rolls instead of white bread
    • Lean meats, skinless chicken or seafood
    • Fruit for dessert

Some of these tips have been taken from the websites listed below. For more eating out tips, visit:-


Resource: OPAL (SA Health)