May 1, 2020 | by Iulia Hădărean

How to Teach Your Children to Pick Healthy When Eating Out

Every family with children is having a hard time when they decide to go out for lunch or dinner, especially when there are so many food choices, healthy or less healthy ones.


If you think that letting your child pick what he is going to eat and still making a healthy choice, there could be some bad news. It is much easier if you have a talk at home or in the car before reaching the restaurant and agree together which options will be chosen and stick to them.

You could even make a funny game at home, regarding the healthy plate and teach your child what food groups should be on a plate, depending where you are eating. Pay attention to grains (bread, potatoes, pasta, rice), meat and proteins (poultry, turkey, fish, pork meat, beef or eggs) and especially vegetables (all colors). Their first instinct will be to choose only meat with a garnish and forget all about vegetables.

The most important thing is to keep the decision taken together, so that the child does not receive alternatives that could lead him to a less healthy meal. Also, you could try to order food that looks like the one at home and talk about how the food from home is a very healthy option and that you try to do the same when eating out.

Here are a few options that you will find in every restaurant:

• Avoid the deep-fried foods, they are the least healthy and have no nutritional properties. Try to find foods that are oven-baked, grilled, steamed or boiled, in that case you will avoid the fried oil that is non-healthy and has a lot of calories.

• Fill half of every plate with vegetables or pick a salad near the main course. There are so many colorful vegetables that your child can choose from: tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper, lettuce, cabbage or cooked vegetables: broccoli, baby carrots, corn etc.

• Try to stay away from desserts: one meal should be enough for you child, don’t make a habit of ordering every time dessert. Try to keep it just for special occasions: a birthday, a holiday etc.

• If you are going for dinner, try to pick a light meal instead of going for something high in calories. Salads (with a source of protein) or a soup are a great way to end the day and also include a bunch of vegetables in the child’s diet.

Eating together should be a fun and peaceful time spent with the family. Keep the mood relaxed!

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