Some of you listened to the Healthy Eating in WDW episode of the WDW Today podcast last week, but there’s still a lot of information and tips for those of you who’d like to — or have to — start eating a bit healthier while you’re on vacation.
Even if you just want “not to go overboard,” (I feel your pain.) the tips, menu options, and “eat this not that” suggestions will help!
First thing first. These are tips everyone already knows, but we sometimes need a reminder or two…or three.
- Look for fresh, not processed foods: You can find fruits and veggies in every theme park. When you’re in a resort food court, consider a salad, boiled egg, or pita and hummus.
- Learn to be a “bother:” Order sauces on the side, substitute veggies/fruit for fries, ask that your meat not be cooked in butter, or see if you can order a half-portion of an entree for less money.
- Watch portion size: Disney likes to give you your money’s worth when it comes to food, so be aware when you order. Make a meal out of an appetizer, and when you splurge on a rich entree or huge dessert, share with someone else at the table.
- Eat breakfast: Breakfast is going to be one of the easiest and cheapest meals to eat healthily in a restaurant, so book mid-morning breakfast ADRs and fuel up with eggs, veggies, and wheat toast. Plus, there’s no temptation of ordering dessert!
- Call ahead: If you’re eating at a set-menu restaurant or want healthier, or no-sugar-added dessert options, call or write to Disney ahead of time (SpecialDiets@DisneyWorld.com, or 407-824-5967).
No Matter Where You Eat…
…there’s going to be something there that won’t eventually kill you 😉 Here are a few menu options for table-service, parks, resorts, and counter-service dining.
- Sanaa, Kidani Village: Mustard Seed Crusted Scallops, Salad Sampler, Tandoori Chicken or Shrimp with rice
- Teppan Edo, Epcot: Hibachi-style cooking. Consider fish or chicken with veggies.
- Yak and Yeti, Animal Kingdom: Miso Salmon, Mandarin Chicken Salad
- bluezoo (Swan/Dolphin), Nacroossee’s (Grand Floridian), Coral Reef (Epcot): All have light fish/seafood dishes.
- Kouzzina, Disney’s Boardwalk: Kouzzina Sampler (Choice of two skewers with Marinated Olives, Spiced Cashews, Dolmades, Tzatziki, Hummus, and Grilled Pita), Fisherman’s Stew, Spiced Briami
- The Wave, Contemporary Resort: Seasonal Vegetable Stew or Linguini with Clams and Red Sauce
- Tusker House, Animal Kingdom: Tofu, Chicken, Salmon, Rice, Veggies
- Tokyo Dining, Epcot: Sushi, Chicken, Steak, Veggies, Rice
- Marrakesh, Epcot: Chicken Kebabs, Fish Tangine, Salmon
Kids’ Picks offerings make it easy for kids to have a healthy meal — choices include carrot sticks, grapes, apple slices, applesauce, jello.
Grown-ups, you can often find grilled chicken or rotisserie chicken offerings. Also, check for veggie burgers, turkey sandwiches or tuna pitas, wraps, and veggie flatbreads.
Restaurants that will offer good, healthy options include:
- Tangierine Café, Epcot: Veggie Platter, Mediterranean wraps and salads, Couscous, Tabouleh
- Sunshine Seasons, Epcot: Soups, Salads, Noodle Bowls with Stir-fried Veggies, Roasted Meats, Oatmeal
- Cosmic Ray’s, Magic Kingdom: Turkey and Bacon Wrap, Veggie wrap/burger
- Sleepy Hollow, Magic Kingdom: Chicken and Rice Soup
- Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station, Magic Kingdom: Steamed Broccoli, Noodle Bowls, Tofu
- Tamu Tamu, Animal Kingdom: Tuna salad pita, Turkey and swiss on Focaccia
- Flame Tree BBQ, Animal Kingdom: Turkey sandwich
- Starring Rolls and Backlot Express, Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Grilled veggie sandwich, Southwest salad with chicken
Options in the parks include: Fresh Fruit, hard and soft pretzels, whole pickles, turkey and veggie sandwiches, no-sugar fruit bars, bags of nuts, Chip and Dale’s food line (nuts, pretzels, dried fruit), fruit cup, dole whip.
Disney’s Resorts are usually where you can find the most healthy options for grab-and-go. Most resorts have a quick service area with yogurt, cereals, fruit, veggies, sandwiches, milk, and other healthy options. Check the food courts and gift shops for these.
Home-away-from-home (Villa) resorts also will carry deli meat and cheese, whole grain bread, and other picnic items. Consider having a healthy picnic on the Boardwalk instead of grabbing burgers at a counter-service place.
Eat This Not That
I debuted the Disney World Version of Eat This Not That on the WDWToday podcast, but there were a few combos I didn’t get to mention. Don’t have nutrition info for most of it, but what I do have, I’m posting! By the way, this is for those of you who don’t want to completely deprive yourself of some good-tastin’ stuff, but still want to make better choices overall.
Instead of a Mickey Bar: 1 Bar, Calories: 330, Fat: 22g, Carbs: 31g, Protein: 3g…
Have a Dole Whip: 1/2 Cup Prepared, Calories: 80, Fat: btwn 1 and 3g (differing based on sources). Note that the usual Dole Whip serving is more than a 1/2 cup, but even with size, you’re saving on fat calories.
Instead of an ice cream cone at the Fountainview in Epcot…
Have a Kaki Gori from Japan
Instead of a Cosmic Rays cheeseburger…
Have a grilled chicken sandwich with veggies or a veggie wrap
Instead of a Margarita from Mexico…
Have a glass of wine from Germany
Instead of ordering steak at a table-service restaurant…
Have a pork or chicken dish for one or two nights
Instead of cheese fries… (I know. Painful.)
Have a soft pretzel, or even some pretzel nuggets with cheese sauce
Instead of a Turkey Leg (Nearly 1000 calories!!)…
Have a deli sandwich at a bakery or a grilled chicken sandwich at a counter service restaurant
We Can Do It!
So, you can see that Disney’s made huge strides to improve the availability of healthy, fresh items for their theme park, resort, and restaurant guests. There really are some gorgeous, delicious dishes available that won’t mess with your heart or pack on the pounds. Do a little bit of research, look at menus ahead of time, and go in armed with some will power.
You should always have fun on vacation, but your choices don’t have to be ALL bad. 😉 Enjoy!