Choose water, fat-free or low-fat milk, unsweetened tea, and other drinks without added sugars to complement your meal.
Start your meal with a salad packed with vegetables to help you feel satisfied sooner. Ask for dressing on the side and use a small amount of it.
Divide a main entree between family and friends. Ask for small plates for everyone at the table.
Order a side dish or an appetizer-sized portion instead of a regular entree. They’re usually served on smaller plates and in smaller amounts.
Pack fruit, sliced vegetables, low-fat string cheese, or unsalted nuts to eat during road trips or long commutes. No need to stop for other food when these snacks are ready-to-eat.
Stir-fries, kabobs, or vegetarian menu items usually have more vegetables. Select fruits as a side dish or dessert.
Many menus now include nutrition information. Look for items that are lower in calories, saturated fat, and sodium. Check with your server if you don’t see them on the menu.
Have an item from the menu and avoid the “all-you-can-eat” buffet. Steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes have fewer calories than foods that are fried in oil or cooked in butter.
Request 100% whole-wheat breads, rolls, and pasta when choosing sandwiches, burgers, or main dishes.
Decide to save some for another meal. Take leftovers home in a container and chill in the refrigerator right away.
Adapted from the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion’s ChooseMyPlate.gov Web site.