Dec 21, 2018
Eating Out
Emily Edison

Between Friday night pizza with friends and stopping for dinner when traveling to away games, high school athletes go out to eat a lot. A few easy tips can help them stick to their nutritional game plans, even when their meals are handed to them through a drive-through window.

Some overall good choices include:

• wraps

• sandwiches

• baked potatoes.

It’s also important to understand terms and word usage. The following terms generally indicate high-performance food choices:

• broiled

• steamed

• poached

• garden-fresh

• in its own juice

• tomato sauce

• marinara sauce

• roasted

• wood-fired

• stir-fried

• grilled.

So where is fat hidden? Often in sauces and dressings. Stay away from food items with these terms:

• mayo

• aioli

• au gratin

• creamed

• creamy

• crispy

• deep-fried

• gravy.

At typical teen hangouts like pizza joints, fast food restaurants, and movie theaters, my advice is to limit fat intake whenever possible. Here are some good rules to go by:

When ordering a pizza, select lower fat toppings like ham, pineapple, veggies, and chicken sausage, and order the pie with half the amount of cheese.

At fast food restaurants, follow a “pick-a-fat” method — choose avocado or mayonnaise on a sandwich but not both.

At the movies, aim for “healthier” snacks like pretzel bites, trail mix, or chocolate-covered raisins as alternatives to popcorn and candy.

Emily Edison, MS, RD, CSSD, is the owner and founder of Momentum Nutrition in Seattle and spent seven years as the consulting Sports Dietitian for the University of Washington athletic department. Since 2005, she has coordinated the Washington Interscholastic Nutrition Forum (, a sport nutrition resource and educational program geared toward high school athletes.

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