Food

Nutrition

Takeout Tips for the Holidays

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The holidays are a busy time of year. So much planning, shopping, wrapping, and celebrating that some nights you just can’t even imagine cooking one more meal for the family. Should you dial up your favorite takeout place to save the day? Absolutely. 

When you do order takeout, though, it can mean a hit to your wallet and to your health if you don’t plan accordingly. And with all the extra holiday treats you will undoubtedly be consuming, keeping your takeout fare as healthy as possible is a great way to feel your best throughout the holidays. Here are our tips for making your break from cooking successful.

Read the menu thoroughly

If you’re trying to keep your holidays lean, it’s important to peruse any menu with an eye for healthier choices. Anything baked or roasted will generally be a good option, and choosing a lean protein such as fish or chicken is another great way to cut down on unwanted fats and calories. Avoid selecting items with the terms “crispy,” “breaded,” or “crusty.” Many restaurants give veggie side choices as well. Ordering out doesn’t always have to mean choosing the healthiest selections, and eating foods you crave in moderation is perfectly fine. However, since the holidays tend to be a time of indulgence, doing your research and making healthy choices is key this time of year. 

Check out those portion sizes

Most restaurants are guilty of giving patrons way too much food for one person. If you plan to order from a restaurant where sharing is an option, use the opportunity to cut down on costs and food waste. Using your own plates at home for your takeout meal will also help you see just how large a restaurant’s portion is.

Watch the dairy

We all love cheesy and gooey things, but restaurant kitchens are consistently quite liberal with adding ooey gooey goodness to their comfort foods. Too much cheese or dairy isn’t good for anyone, as this is a huge source of fat and calories (not to mention tummy aches and even acne). If you’re menu item with cheese, don’t be scared to request that cheese on the side. That way you can control the amount you consume. Otherwise, just say no to dishes that seem to have a lot of cheese, butter, or cream.

Plate yourself

The Diabetes Plate Method is a great way to see if your meal is balanced—and you don’t have to be a diabetic to benefit from well-balanced nutrition. Try to fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables such as greens, a salad, or broccoli. One quarter of your plate should be filled with lean protein and the rest should contain complex carbohydrates like whole grains. Ask about whole grain and vegetable options if you don’t see any listed on the menu.

Support local

Ordering takeout from a local establishment is a great way to support your community business owners (and their delicious food). However, make sure you follow these tips to have the best experience for you and the greatest benefit to the restaurant and their employees:

  • Always tip. 
  • Order directly from the restaurant instead of using GrubHub or DoorDash. While these companies are convenient, they also charge a fee to the restaurant, so they don’t make all their money back on your order.
  • Say no to straws, plastic utensils, and napkins if you’re eating at home. Not only will you save the restaurant a pretty penny, but you’ll be doing the planet a favor..

Ordering takeout can be a delicious and fun way to take a break from your holiday duties. Follow our tips to make sure you’re keeping it healthy and supporting your amazing local Hancock County food scene. Cheers!

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