Tips for Eating out at Restaurants

Written by UConn Dietetics Student Austin Goldberg

When it comes to eating out at restaurants, there are so many delicious foods to choose from. Be aware that there is often added sodium, extra fat, sugar, and calories in restaurant foods. If you eat out regularly, these calories can add up. Check out these tips for making healthy choices when eating out.

6 Tips for Healthy Restaurant Meals1-3

  1. Look at the Menu Carefully: Words like “grilled,” “steamed,” or “baked” usually mean healthier options. Try to avoid dishes that are described as “fried” or “creamy,” as they will have more fats and calories.
  2. Choose Water as Your Beverage: Instead of sugary sodas or juices, choose water to drink. Water is refreshing and does not have added sugars or calories. Plus, it keeps you hydrated!
  3. Control Your Portions: Restaurants often serve large portions of food. Ask for a smaller portion or share a meal with another person. Eating smaller portions can help you avoid overeating and feeling too full.
  4. Add Veggies to Your Plate: Make sure to include vegetables in your meal. They are full of fiber which fills you up so you may eat less. You can order veggies as a side dish or choose a salad as an appetizer. Ask for veggies to be simply steamed and unseasoned.
  5. Watch Out for Desserts: It is perfectly okay to enjoy a dessert, but there are wise choices. Consider fruit or fruit compotes with oatmeal topping and consider sharing a dessert!
  6. Be Mindful of Extras: Be mindful of extras like breadsticks, chips, or butter that might come with your meal. These can add extra calories without providing much nutrition. Try to limit how much you eat.



This material is funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.