In our home, having meals together is very important. We make it a point to sit down at the dinner table as often as we possibly can while sharing great tasting and healthy meals and catching up with each other’s days.
Sometimes, however, there’s just not enough time to fire up the stove, take out pots and pans, and start boiling and sautéing the evening away. I’m sure this happens to every mom out there. When this occurs, the next best thing to do is to call your favorite restaurant for a takeout meal.
Unfortunately, some takeout options available for us are laden with fat, sodium, and calories. The good news is that there are healthy takeout options. You just have to know what foods to choose to ensure your family dinners are still as healthy as you want it to be. Remember, for every takeout option, there is always a healthier alternative that is just as delicious.
If you’re craving for Italian food and want pizza, choose gluten-free, whole grain, and thin pizza crusts with low fat toppings such as vegetables, fish, and/or prawns. Hold back on the cheese and avoid toppings like bacon, pepperoni, and other cold cuts. For pasta, go for tomato-based rather than cream and oil-based sauces.
If you’re more into Chinese takeout, avoid anything deep fried like prawn crackers and spring rolls. Also, avoid food items dipped in batter like sweet and sour pork. Instead, go for crab and corn soup, steamed dumplings, steamed vegetables and plain boiled rice, steamed fish, chicken chop suey, and/or Szechuan prawns.
For Indian food, try to avoid anything that’s creamy or deep fried. Pick dishes with tomato-based sauces like tandoori and madras. Also, choose plenty of vegetables including lentil side dishes.
For burgers, opt for whole grain buns and vegetable patties. Avoid mayonnaise and fatty dressings. You can even skip the side of fries and just go for vegetable sticks instead.
When it comes to Thai food, go for stir-fried dishes or steamed dishes containing chicken, fish or vegetables instead of curries. Thai curries are made with coconut milk which is high in cholesterol.
In general, the key thing to remember is to order more vegetables, grilled and/or steamed items, and to avoid fat-laden foods. Just keep in mind that whether you have cooked your meals yourself or you’ve ordered them from your favorite restaurant, a great meal is one that every family member enjoys.