Eating Out with Kids

by Carolyn O'Neil, MS RDN LD

Eating Out with Kids

Use smart-eating strategies: plan ahead, consider the menu and choose foods carefully to keep you on your plan.

  • Choose a restaurant that caters to children and has a healthy children's menu that includes smaller portion sizes and meals designed to provide ample nourishment for smaller bodies.
  • For kids' meals, opt for milk as a beverage and fruit for dessert.
  • Order kids plain foods with sauce on the side.
  • Substitute healthier "sides" in place of fries, like carrots or apple slices.
  • Choose two or three suitable menu items, then let your child pick one.
  • Let kids order their familiar favorites when they eat out. For new foods, offer a bite or two from your order.
  • Calcium is important at all ages, but especially for growing bones. To get more calcium, drink low-fat or fat-free white or chocolate milk or add a slice of cheese to their sandwich. Choose dairy-based treats like yogurt, a milkshake or frozen dairy dessert.

Download a handout with 30 helpful tips on keeping to a healthful diet when eating away from home.

Rate this article:  Average 2 out of 5

About the author:

Carolyn A O'Neil MS RDN LD

Carolyn O'Neil, MS RDN LD




  • Cook healthy

    Involve your child in the cutting, mixing and preparation of all meals. Even a snack can be healthy.

  • Eat right

    Sit down together as a family to enjoy a wonderful meal and the opportunity to share the day's experiences with one another.

  • Shop smart

    To encourage a healthy lifestyle, get your children involved in selecting the food that will appear at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table.

Follow us online

My Recipe Box My Recipe Box

Keep all your favorite Kids Eat Right recipes in one place.