Navigating Eating Out

At the Cafeteria

This isn't your parents' cafeteria food anymore - how lucky are we that our generation has some pretty awesome choices! Unfortunately, we still have to dodge the unhealthy stuff, but these helpful tips you will make that easier than ever!

  • Think about what you're going to have to eat before going to the cafeteria to avoid temptations;
  • When in doubt, look for grilled, steamed, boiled, or poached foods;
  • The more colour the better! Fill half your plate with colourful veggies;
  • Choose whole grains;
  • Skip the sugary drinks and have water or milk with your meal;
  • Take your time eating and enjoy your meal; and
  • Once finished eating, leave the cafeteria to avoid reaching for desserts and candies. A great idea is to go for a walk to get your mind ready for your next class!

At Restaurants

Restaurants are tricky places. Sometimes just the smell when you walk in makes you crave food you normally wouldn't eat. While having your favorite chicken fingers and fries is definitely okay every once in a while, many of us are eating out more and more often.

To help you out a little, Ontario now makes big restaurant chains display the number of calories in their food and drinks. You can use these to help you make healthier choices, along with a few other suggestions we have for you:

  • Choose a restaurant you know makes healthy food;
  • Avoid all-you-can-eat buffets, since these usually turn into "lets try to eat the whole restaurant" outings;
  • Cut down your portions;
    • Ask for a half-portion
    • Split your meal with a friend
    • Ask for a to-go container with your meal, then wrap up half before you start eating
    • Switch it up;
    • Ask for steamed veggies or salad instead of fries
    • Ask for whole grains, when having bread, tortillas, and pizza crust
  • Choose mains that have lots of veggies (think half the plate);
  • Drink water - this will cut down on sugar and save your money at the same time;
  • When having dessert, choose fruit;
  • If you have allergies, eating out can become a little scary. To ease your mind, apps like Allergy guard can help. Input what your're allergic to and where you're eating - it will tell you if there is high or low risk of having a reaction.

The most important piece of advice is to listen to your stomach! Simply stop eating when you feel full. If you don't want to waste your leftovers, ask for a doggie bag. If you are too full for dessert, don't order it.

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