By: Dusti Linnell, PhD, OSU Extension Service, Tillamook and Lincoln County & Anne Goetze, RDN, LD, Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council


Restaurants are closed for dining in right now, but many in Tillamook County are open for Take-Out. In fact the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce has compiled a list, Take Out Time, with restaurants, hours and phone numbers. You can even join the Facebook group “Tillamook Coast Takeout + Delivery” for menus and specials. This is an important time to support your local businesses. It is also a great opportunity to Eat Well.

It may feel like time to binge eat or stress eat, but eating well is important now in order to help you and everyone in your house stay healthy and well. We are here to help! In January, we posted the following article, “Eating Out and Eating Well.”  We’ve made a few edits for take-out and are sharing it again with you now. Remember safe food handling to avoid the spread of disease. Wash your hands before touching food.


Eating Out and Eating Well – Take-Out Edition

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans  show us that most Americans typically do not get enough vegetables, dairy, whole grains and even fruit.  While most get too much sugar, fat, salt and too many calories.  Using MyPlate as your guide, even when you are ordering take-out can help you choose well.  A simple way to approach food choices is to think about the food groups pictured in MyPlate.

When you order, think about what you’ve already eaten that day and what you might eat the rest of the day.   What’s missing?  What can you choose so that at the end of the day, your virtual MyPlate will be balanced and full, but not overflowing?

Here are a few tips for things to think about when you order:


  • Boost fruits and veggies.
  • Ask for extra veggies.
  • Add or substitute red, orange, or dark green vegetables whenever you can. Try arugula or spinach instead of lettuce, even on a burger.
  • Get the most from side dishes. Try green salad, fruit, corn, beans, or vegetable soup. Order as part of your take-out meal, or keep these foods in your fridge or pantry to serve with your meal.
  • If you are going to eat dessert, choose pie, cobbler or other food where fruit is the main ingredient.
  • Increase whole grains.
  • Ask for whole wheat sandwich bread, burger buns, tortillas or pizza crusts.
  • Look for deli salads with grains like bulgur, quinoa, wheat berries and even brown rice.
  • Add dairy.
  • Add a slice of cheese to a sandwich or burger.
  • Order a carton or bottle of milk.
  • Enjoy a bowl of chowder.
  • Choose yogurt or a yogurt parfait.
  • Order a latte.
  • Reduce added sugar.
  • Instead of soda, order milk, 100% juice or unsweetened iced tea with lemon.
  • Skip the cookies, or have just one.


Here are some ways you can put these tips into action:


  • Chicken teriyaki? Ask for extra veggies on the side. For a family, order a large chicken teriyaki and a salad to share.
  • Craving that delicious macaroni and cheese? Great! Order a cup of tomato soup to go with it and save half (or more!) of the macaroni and cheese for tomorrow’s lunch.
  • Ordering a peperoni and cheese pizza? Add peppers and onions. Order salad to eat with the pizza.
  • Thinking about Thai food? Many of the dishes are full of veggies with great lean protein choices. Beef noodle soup, curry, and pad Thai are great choices and ask for extra veggies.
  • Hungry for an awesome burger? Enjoy it, but request extra pickles, lettuce, tomato, or onion. You could also order a small or kid size burger and a salad.  Make it a cheeseburger. Think about ordering one burger for two people.
  • Ask your favorite coffee drive-thru for a mocha that is half-sweet.
  • Ordering a burrito? Request extra pico de gallo and whole beans instead of refried. Need more dairy? Order extra cheese.  Too many calories?  Skip the rice.
  • Is it barbeque day? Don’t skip the coleslaw.  Made with cabbage and carrots, coleslaw counts as a vegetable.
  • Grabbing a quick sub sandwich? Order whole wheat bread and extra veggies like spinach and bell peppers.  Grab a bottle of milk to make it a meal.


Take Out Time, can also be Eating Well time. Let MyPlate be your guide, try some new options and find what is right for you.

For more local health and wellness information, follow Tillamook County Wellness on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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