Healthy Eating Out
As participants arrive, distribute the Quiz: Test Your Know-How! Surprising Food Facts and pencils. Ask participants to complete the quiz. Tell them not to worry if they do not know the answers. You will discuss the answers during the lesson.
Introduce the mini-lesson by pointing out that the occasional restaurant meal neither makes nor breaks a healthy pattern of eating. However, in today’s world restaurants are abundant and Canadians rely heavily on the convenience of eating out and ordering in.
To begin the discussion, ask the group a few questions. Ask them to write down their answers:
- In the last week, how many times did you eat at a sit-down restaurant (including family style and fast food restaurants)?
- In the last week, how many times did you order food at a drive-thru restaurant (including coffee shops)?
- In the last week, how many times did you eat take-out food?
- In the last week, how many times did you buy a snack at a restaurant or store?
Now, ask participants to add up the total number of eating out occasions in the last week.
Explain that Statistics Canada recently reported that the Canadian households visit a restaurant for a meal or snack nearly eleven (11) times every two weeks. Frequent eating out may result in consumption of excess calories, fat and sodium and make it more challenging to get enough vegetables and fruit.
Proceed with the discussion on healthy eating out by reviewing each question on the Test Your Know-How! Surprising Food Facts quiz. Use the Healthy Eating Out PowerPoint presentation and speaker notes to lead the discussion. You may need to present this information in a different format suitable for the group situation (you might need copy the key information onto flip chart paper or make overhead projector transparencies). You may also choose to distribute them.
The following discussion points may also help:
Healthy Eating Out PowerPoint Presentation
- Slide 2 - 6: Answers to Test Your Know-How! Surprising Food Facts
- Slide 7: Eating Out and Canada's Food Guide
- Slide 8 - 10: The Challenges of Eating Out
Eating Out Activity
- Ask participants to work in pairs or small groups. Distribute one activity card to each pair or small group. Ask groups to discuss the question on the card. The aim of this activity is find solutions for difficult situations when eating out. Explain that there or no right or wrong answers. This is an opportunity to discover solutions that may work for you and your family when eating out. Allow about 5 to 10 minutes for groups to work on this activity.
- Starting with Activity Card #1, have each group report to the whole group by reading out the question and then sharing a few solutions.
- If low literacy is or may be an issue, the leader should read the questions aloud or ask one of the group members to read and record answers.
- Return to the remaining PowerPoint slides to give the participants an opportunity to practice some of the solutions that they have discussed. Slides 13, 14 and 15 show less healthy restaurant choices. Ask the participants what they can do to make these restaurant meals more healthy.
- Review the additional resources on healthy eating out shown on slide #16:
- Distribute the"You Can Ask" handouts (3) to those who are interested.
- Provide information on EatRight Ontario.
- Encourage participants to go to restaurant websites to review nutrition information before going out to eat.
- Encourage participants to practice some of the solutions discussed in this mini-lesson the next time they go out to eat.
- Distribute an evaluation for each person to complete. The feedback you get will be useful in planning future sessions.