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Dinning Out Tips

Submitted by Pallavi on November 5, 2009

Youíre shopping at the mall with your family, and they show no signs of slowing down. Theyíre having a great time, but hunger pangs have started to set in. Youíre unlikely to find a health food store at the mall, and eating at the food court can ruin your diet! What do you do? Donít fret, you can eat at the food court, and still manage without packing on too many calories. All you have to do is watch what and how much you eat.

Here are some tips that will help you stay healthy at the food court: Before ordering, take a few minutes to explore the food court. Look at whatís available, and see if anybodyís offering a healthy choice. Decide what you want to eat before placing your order.

If youíre tempted by the varied choice, you can easily order two small portions from different vendors; thatís the great thing about a food court. Start with a healthy salad (hold the mayo!), soup or broth. This is a healthy choice that will also fill you up. Try not to order unhealthy alternatives like fried chicken or burgers. Instead, order a portion of rice with gravy or a steak. When choosing bread, go for the whole wheat option, rather than white bread. Share your food!

Order a few different foods for a group. That way, you can share it all, and wonít have to stuff yourself. Resist the temptation to Ďsupersizeí your meals. Just order what you need, and leave out the colas and fries.

Instead, if possible, look for restaurants that offer smaller portions. In many places, you can ask for a child-size helping. Stay away from all sugars that donít provide nutrition. This means all colas or sweetened drinks. Stick to fruit juices or good fresh water! Itís a good idea to carry your own water. That way, you wonít feel compelled to order a cola. Try eating a mid sized meal at home before visiting a mall. If you eat before you leave home, youíre less likely to want to eat at the food court, and what you donít eat canít hurt you. If you must eat a meal, try to order something healthy that has all the major food groups. For instance, you could try ordering a South-East Asian meal that includes noodles or a stir fry. These are usually healthier options, although they may be a little high on sodium. If youíre eating pasta, stay away from the cheesy sauces. Remember that vegetarian food is normally lighter and easier to cook, and therefore, better for you in food courts.
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