Meal Tips: Eat Most Nutrient-Dense Foods First

Eat the most nutrient-dense foods first:

· Serve salad as the first course.

o There’s no rule stating we must have all the dishes served at once. Shake things up with your family by serving the meal in courses, like they do at restaurants.

o Prepare the salad in advance. Serve it first while the rest of the meal “finishes,” which allows your family to fill up first on the most nutrient-dense foods.

o “Finishing” can be as simple as letting your other side dishes have a little inactive cooling time when they come out of the oven so they will slice better (ex: vegetarian lasagnas, enchilada casseroles, etc.) Alternately, turn off the soup pot or undercook the vegetables and let sit covered while you eat your salad. Corn on the cob can be added to boiling water, covered, and taken off the warm burner to cook while you enjoy your salad course. Go back and add freshly chopped herbs to “finish” off whatever other dish/dishes you will be serving. NOTE: This does not mean that mother has to be hopping up and down from the table. Prepare dishes and garnish in advance, then let them wait until you are ready. Just don’t let them overcook!

o If the kids are hungry enough, they’ll even ask for seconds of salads, if it is served first. Otherwise, if they are anything like my kids, they leave it for last, and then, being stuffed from the more starchy meal items, many times never eat any salad at all. (I have been guilty of the same thing!) My husband’s famous quote is: “I’ll eat my salad later.”

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Comment by Eve Orr on October 31, 2010 at 3:22am
If you noticed, I didn't say Golden Corral was a "safe" place with no temptations, or that I manage to stick completely with my diet when there. However, we enjoy the occasional dinner-date, and if we go somewhere like Golden Corral, then making the first plate of food a healthy one from the salad buffet really helps! I come home afterward feeling better, and without eating as much "contraband". I have found that some foods I previously enjoyed no longer taste as good to me as they once did: Burger King Whoppers that were once my favorite sandwich now taste greasy, and ditto with the french fries. Snickers bars now taste cloyingly sweet. So perhaps with all the times that I fall short, at least I have made some progress!
Comment by Sharlene Tucker on October 30, 2010 at 9:11pm
I've been to Golden Corral once when visiting Colorado on a trip. So many temptations! Personally, that is my weakness when it comes to buffets. It is too tempting to partake of dishes I might otherwise steer clear of, as well as over-indulging. All about learning self control. (I'm a constant work-in-progress when it comes to that subject.) When I'm in the right mind set, those unhealthy food options don't even phase me, but if I'm in any kind of emotional turmoil or under stress, I have to beware. "Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!" So glad Halloween is over. Gotta quickly ditch the leftovers. *grin*
Comment by Eve Orr on October 30, 2010 at 6:55pm
Golden Corral is good. We are also partial to a Chinese buffet here in town - but after a plate of salad, I usually don't stick entirely to my diet either place. I just find that the salad helps me partake of the other foods with greater moderations.
Comment by Sharlene Tucker on October 28, 2010 at 10:53pm

Thanks for sharing. Great comment!

Any good food chains with salad bars you'd recommend?
Comment by Eve Orr on October 12, 2010 at 4:27pm
This idea is very helpful when eating out, too. Our favorite restaurants are always buffets, not only because we don't have to wait to eat, but because we have more control over portion sizes and selection. I find that if I hit the salad bar first, filling my first plate with greens, veggies and fruit, I am less likely to return home from eating out overstuffed and feeling bloated.


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