How can I keep my kids healthy when they eat out?

Eating out with the family and want to pick something healthy off the menu for your child? Follow these easy tips.

 It’s possible to make good choices and have control over your child’s food – even at restaurants.

Kids need to understand the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle from an early age, and it’s up to you, the parents, to make sure that happens, no matter where you eat.

Here are some suggestions for keeping the kids healthy when dining out:

Skip the fries

Watch out for side dishes that are often loaded with fats such as fried chips. Fat and calories add up quickly when food is fried, deep-fried, or breaded. Instead, order roasted potatoes or vegetables as a side dish with your child’s meal.

Limit their sugar consumption

It’s difficult to avoid ordering dessert but if your child insists, order one dessert to share between both of you.

Ask questions

If you’re concerned about the butter or salt used in the dishes featured in the kiddies’ menu, don’t be afraid to ask your waiter how the food is prepared.

Ditch sauces

Sauces, condiments, dressings, and spreads can add fat and sodium to your child’s meal.

Skip sweet drinks

Stay away from fizzy cold drinks and juices. Instead, order your child still or sparkling water. You can ask for a slice of lemon, or some ice cubes if plain water is too boring for your child.

Keep it small

Keep an eye on portion sizes. Super-sized meal combinations might seem like a good deal, but they’re often high in fat, calories, sugar, and sodium. Stick to the children’s menu. Children can’t overindulge if they have a small portion of food on their plate.

Good to know: What we eat has an impact on our moods, and children are no exception. A happy child is one who is healthy – and that means a very happy mom and dad, too.

The following information is provided by experts:

  • Say goodbye to processed foods: A high-processed food diet, such as fried foods, sweet desserts, sugary snacks, refined flour, and cereals, can increase the risk of anxiety and depression in children.
  • Avoid cold drinks: Studies show that children who consume four or more cups of cold drinks or sweetened fruit drinks per day – including diet versions – have a higher risk of depression.
  • No more caffeine: Caffeine in the form of cold drinks, energy drinks, or coffee drinks can cause anxiety in children and exacerbate depression symptoms.