Tag Archives: dining out

Food Allergies in the Real World: Restaurants

Food allergies are a condition that can, if not taken seriously, result in severe reactions.  Tackling restaurant menus and navigating supermarket aisles can be difficult.  Even professional athletes can face this problem and Team FitNice is no exception.  In this educational series of posts we’ll cover some good ways to prevent coming in contact with allergens in restaurants, at school, in the grocery store and when you travel.

Food allergies don’t have to stop you from enjoying meals at restaurants with friends.  Here are 5 Tips for Avoiding Allergens in Restaurants:food allergies in restaurants

1)  Check out restaurants before you go.  Asian cuisine features peanuts and staffers in outlets with pre-made meals might not know what’s inside the package.  Buffets typically offer lots of choices for eats who have to be choosy.  Ask friends, family and doctors to recommend food allergy friendly establishments then research menus and read reviews.

2)  Call ahead.  Call during off-peak hours and ask if the restaurant is willing to take care of your needs.  If so, ask if the staff is trained to deal with a food allergen free diner and if any specialty meals are available.  Give them as much information as you can and make sure the person you spoke to will be there when you plan on visiting.

3)  Communicate with staff.  Your server might not know everything about how the food they serve is prepared.  Speak with a manager or, ideally, the chef to make your dietary needs and restrictions clear.

4)  Keep meals simple.  Restaurants can offer up complicated dishes with lots of ingredients.  Ordering simple, not plain or boring, plates can help ensure your food doesn’t come into contact with any unwanted allergens.  Avoid fried food, which is a hot bed for cross-contamination, and know that dessert is often a source of hidden allergens.

5)  Ask for your plate to be delivered separately.  If simply touching an allergen can induce a reaction, stacked plates can be trouble.  Make sure your servers knows that your food shouldn’t come in contact with any other food or china.  When your meal arrives at the table, double check your instructions were followed and the food was prepared properly.

Remember that the best medicine is prevention.  Always be ready to treat an allergic reaction should contact occur.  Having a bronchodilator or epinephrine pen (if prescribed) within reach at all times is a sure fire way to make sure you’re safe from a severe reaction.  Use these tips and be prepared to a great night out the next time you walk into a restaurant.

Have questions about managing your food allergies when you dine in a restaurant?  Ask your doctor or send us an email at Info@FitNicePT.com.

Dining Out? 5 Tips to Stay on Track

Dining out is a popular past time, and even when you’re on a fantastic, widely varied meal plan, sometimes getting out of the house just sounds good.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a meal away from home once or twice a week, but unfortunately, dining out can add anywhere from a few to a couple hundred calories to your daily intake, with an average dining outof 135 additional calories per meal, that might climb even higher if you add sugar and carb loaded alcoholic beverages.  Here are 5 tips from Team FitNice that will help you beat the restaurant over-eating blues.

1.  Read the menu closely.  Read each menu option and pick those that are grilled, broiled or baked rather than fried and breaded.  Watch for, and avoid, words like creamy and buttered, which usually mean lots of high fat content dairy products are used in the food’s preparation.

2.  Ask questions.  Ask your server if it’s possible to make changes to meals.  Substitute sides, such as steamed seasonal vegetables for fries, or cooking methods by asking for grilled rather than fried chicken and fish.

3.  Think small.  Choose small portions.  Many menus now offer low calorie options dining outthat feature smaller portions and heart healthy combinations.  Try tapas, mixing many small dishes together and sharing with the table to keep consumption down or even consider ordering a child size dinner.

4.  Get a box.  Ask for a box to be delivered with your meal and box one third to one half of it up before you dig in.  Restaurant portions are often good for two to three servings, and rather than letting what you haven’t finished get thrown out, take it home for later.

5.  Order a salad.  A leafy, green salad is filling and will help keep you from overeating.  Ordering it with the dressing on the side can keep fat content even lower and consider skipping the cheese while asking for extra vegetables.

Use these tips when you’re dining out and stay on track with your meal, diet or weight loss plan.  Want help with your meal plan?  Ask us!  Email Info@FitNicePT or fill out the form below.