March is National Nutrition Month! This year’s topic is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right”, which promotes eating traditional foods and trying new things while keeping MyPlate in mind and treating ourselves every once in a while. It is important to create an eating pattern that includes foods that are not only flavorful but also nutritious, which is the best way to savor the flavor of eating right!

It is fun to try new things and enjoy new flavors at restaurants. However, it is important to keep healthy eating in the back of one’s mind. When ordering at a restaurant, be mindful of how you will achieve half of your plate full of fruits and vegetables. Most of the time you can order a side salad (with dressing on the side) and substitute fresh fruit for French fries. Now this allows for 3 more groups: Starch, Protein, and Dairy.

Usually, there is an option for protein and starch, and a lot of the time cheese works for dairy. Now, it is the portion size you have to be concerned about. The protein, starch, and dairy are most likely going to be twice what you will need. Ask for a second box to save half of the entrée. Keep in mind sodium intake is usually hard to eliminate when eating out, however asking for sauces on the side can help immensely.

Here are a few examples of healthy eating at some basic restaurants in Riverside:


(P) = Protein
(S) = Starch
(V) = Vegetable
(F) = Fruit
(D) = Dairy


Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken (P) and side of apple slices/mandarin oranges (F)
Southwest salad = lettuce (V), vegetable blend (V), baby spinach (V), chili lime tortilla chips (S), cheese (D)


½ Bean Burrito Bowl – Black and pinto beans (P), brown rice (S), fresh tomato salsa (V), lettuce (V), guacamole (V), fajita veggies (V), easy on the cheese (D), and a side of red grapes/mandarin oranges (F)


Ceviche and Plantain Chips (S) with side salad (V), and low-fat milk (D)
Ceviche = fish (P), mango (F), avocado (V), cucumber (V), cilantro (V), green onion(V)

Old Spaghetti Factory:

½ plate of Chicken (P) Parmesan (D) with Whole Wheat Pasta (S), Side Salad (V) – dressing on the side, Applesauce (F)

How to Eat Healthy at Local Riverside Restaurants

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