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Make Healthy Restaurant Selections

Filed Under:
Publication Number: M1409
View as PDF: M1409.pdf


  • Order the smallest entrée or share.


  • Survey before you dig in.
  • Request veggies without butter.
  • Split a baked potato.
  • Request butter and salad dressings on the side.
  • Use a small plate.
  • Pile no thicker than a deck of cards.


  • Go light on meat.
  • Choose mustard, vinegar, and peppers.
  • Request baked chips or pretzels.
  • Limit high-sodium pickles, olives, and chips.
  • Limit high-sodium smoked and cured meats.

Pancake/Waffle Restaurant

  • Request “light stack” pancakes.
  • Ask for butter on the side.
  • Request egg substitutes.
  • Fill omelets with vegetables.


  • Choose dishes with more vegetables.
  • Request plain rice instead of fried rice.
  • Order steamed dumplings instead of egg rolls.
  • Select chicken and seafood dishes instead of beef, pork, or duck.


  • Leave tortilla chips and salsa off the table.
  • Order à la carte or split an entrée.
  • Choose soft, non-fried tortillas, as in burritos or enchiladas.
  • Ask for sour cream and guacamole on the side.

Italian — Pizza

  • Start with a garden salad to fill you up.
  • Choose a thin-crust pizza; avoid cheese-stuffed crust.
  • Choose low-fat toppings like pineapple, Canadian bacon, ham, grilled chicken, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, and peppers.
  • Avoid extra cheese.

Italian — Pasta

  • Share pasta or get a to-go box.
  • Choose tomato or marinara sauces instead of cream sauces, cheese sauces, and butter sauces.
  • Go light on bread doused in butter or oil.
  • Choose seafood or chicken rather than meatballs or sausage.

Fast Food Burgers/Sandwiches

  • Order regular, small, or junior-size burgers.
  • Choose grilled chicken instead of fried.
  • Use ketchup, mustard, or BBQ sauce instead of mayonnaise or special sauce.
  • Split a small order of French fries or add some fresh fruit from home.

Fast Food Breakfast

  • Choose bagels with spreads on the side.
  • Choose jelly in place of butter or other spreads.
  • Beware of high-fat sausage biscuits and croissants.
  • Order specialty coffees with skim milk.

M1409 (POD-05-16)
Adapted from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service by Natasha Haynes, Extension Agent, Hinds County.

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