Tags: Obesity | mall food court | healthy holiday eating | diet and fitness

20 Healthy Choices at the Mall Food Court

20 Healthy Choices at the Mall Food Court
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By    |   Wednesday, 20 December 2017 01:01 PM

Just a few Christmas shopping days remain, so you may be tempted to skip dinner to dash into the mall. But lines are long, and, as the minutes turn into hours, you may opt for the quickest, but often the least healthy dining option, the mall food court.

The good news is that you don’t have to choose between going hungry or giving in to that double cheeseburger with fries.

Consumer Reports recently produced a special report on the best mall-dining options – “What to Eat and What to Avoid at the Mall Food Court.” The article is timed to help consumers make healthier choices if they are stuck in the mall during the holidays.

“Generally, there’s not much in the shopping mall food court that you could strictly consider health food, but if your stranded and starving, there are ways to avoid dietary disaster at the food court,” Consumer Report nutritionist Amy Keating tells Newsmax Health.

“If you’re stuck in a food mall, and you’re hungry, you could easily end up consuming half a day’s worth of calories in a single meal, or even just a snack.”

But, by making smart choices, you can order healthier dishes, and stack up far fewer calories, she adds. Here’s how:

  • Opt for vinaigrette dressings on your salad instead of creamier choices.
  • Avoid dishes that feature lots of cheese.
  • Order a half portion if available, or share a meal with a friend.

“Even small swaps at the food mall can make a huge difference,” says Keating.

Here are Consumer Reports’ picks for healthier mall dining:

Au Bon Pain

  • Skip the Chicken Caesar Asiago Salad with Caesar Dressing (530 calories) and pick the Chicken Caesar Asiago Salad with Vinaigrette dressing (390 calories).
  • Skip the Double Chocolate Chunk Muffin (580 calories) and pick the Double Chocolate Cupcake (320 calories).

Auntie Anne’s

  • Skip the Original Pretzel with Cheese Dip (430 calories) and pick the Original Pretzel with Marinara Dip (355 calories).
  • Skip the Cinnamon Pretzel (470 calories) and pick the Sweet Almond Pretzel, no butter (350 calories).

California Pizza Kitchen

  • Skip the Quinoa and Arugula Salad with grilled chicken (800 calories, half order) and pick the Roasted Veggie Salad with Grilled Chicken Breast (490 calories, half order).
  • Skip the Margherita Thin Crust Pizza (660 calories, half pie) and pick the California Veggie Original Hand-Tossed Pizza (540 calories, half pie).


  • Skip the Cinnamon Classic Bun (880 calories) and pick the Churro (290 calories).
  • Skip the Cinnabon Stix (five, 420calories) and pick the CinnaSweeties (five, 250 calories) .

Five Guys

  • Skip the Cheeseburger (840 calories) and pick the Little Cheeseburger (550 calories).
  • Skip the Hamburger (700 calories) and pick the Little Hamburger (480 calories).

Panda Express

  • Skip the Beijing Beef (470 calories) and pick the Broccoli Beef (150 calories).
  • Skip the Veggie Spring Rolls (2) (190 calories) and pick the Chicken Potstickers (3) (160 calories).


  • Skip the Turkey Pesto Panini (540 calories) and pick the Smoked Turkey and Swiss Sandwich Protein Box (360 calories).
  • Skip the Caffé Mocha (360 calories) and pick the Skinny Mocha (160 calories).


  • Skip the Steak & Cheese with Light Mayo (410 calories) and pick the Roast beef with Yellow Mustard (320 calories).
  • Skip the Classic Tuna (470 calories) and pick the Rotisserie Style Chicken with Spicy Brown Mustard (350 calories).

Taco Bell

  • Skip the Fiesta Taco Salad with Chicken, (720 calories) and pick Fresco Soft Taco with Shredded Chicken (2) (300 calories).
  • Skip the XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito Beef (870 calories) and pick the Beefy Nacho Loaded Griller (370 calories).


  • Skip the small Sorbet Fizz (340 calories) and pick the Orange Sorbet (4 ounces, 91 calories).
  • Skip the Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookie Yogurt with Brownie Bites (4 ounces,185 calories) and pick the Dutch Chocolate Yogurt with Strawberries (4 ounces, 103 calories).

© 2021 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

If you’re doing some last-minute holiday shopping at the mall, you don’t need to sacrifice good nutrition to the hustle and bustle. Consumer Reports has identified the best, healthy options at the food court. Here are 20.
mall food court, healthy holiday eating, diet and fitness
Wednesday, 20 December 2017 01:01 PM
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