Healthy Eating in Belgium: Navigating Local Cuisine for Optimal Nutrition

By Amelia
8 Min Read

Are you planning a trip to Belgium but worried about maintaining your healthy eating habits? Look no further! In this blog post, we will guide you through the delicious local cuisine and show you how to make smart choices for optimal nutrition. From waffles to chocolate, there’s something for everyone in this food lover’s paradise. So let’s dive in and discover how to eat healthy while enjoying all that Belgium has to offer!

What is Healthy Eating?

Belgium has a long history of culinary excellence and its cuisine reflects this. Traditionally, Belgian food is based on fresh ingredients, whole grains, and homemade sauces.

Healthy eating in Belgium means consuming foods that are high in nutritional value and low in calories. There are a number of ways to explore local cuisine and find healthy eats without compromising your taste buds. Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Beware of the Shoestring Meal: While Belgian cuisine can be expensive, don’t forget that there are many affordable options too. For example, instead of opting for greasy fast food, try cooking at home with heart-healthy ingredients like grilled chicken or fish. Or sip on a cool thuisbier (brewpub) while enjoying a simple meal like fries with mayo or sauteed veggies with olive oil.

2. Be Mindful of Your Plate: When ordering food at a restaurant, ask whether your dish includes any unhealthy extras (e.g., dressings, sauces). This way you can choose something lower in calorie content without sacrificing taste or quality.

3. Sample Local Specialties: Belgian restaurants offer an incredible variety of regional specialties so be sure to ask your server about some of the healthier options available. For instance, in Flanders locals enjoy hearty mussels cooked in beer and served over creamy mashed potatoes or roasted pork with polenta beans and apple sauce.

Belgian Cuisine Options

Belgian cuisine is known for its variety and rich flavor, making it a popular choice for those on a healthy eating plan. Here are some of the best Belgian cuisines for Optimal Nutrition:

Flemish/Dutch Cuisine: Flemish and Dutch cuisine are highly influenced by their geography – the Flemish region in Belgium is adjacent to France, while the Dutch area is located near Germany. This regionally specific cooking style features hearty soups, meaty stews and savory pies filled with seasonal ingredients. The dishes can be quite complex, but they’re always interesting and flavorful.

French Cuisine: French cuisine has been pervasive throughout Europe for centuries, and Belgian chefs have taken to it quite easily. Typical French dishes include simple mixed plates of fresh produce and meats cooked in a variety of sauces. Many classic French flavors – such as garlic, thyme and parsley – can be found in Belgian cuisine as well.

International Cuisine: While Belgian cuisine is rooted in traditional European flavors, there’s no shortage of international influences when it comes to food here. Indian, Chinese, Turkish and Italian restaurants all dot the landscape in Belgium, so you’re never far from something new and delicious. Of course, you can also find staples from around the world at most Belgian eateries, so all types of diners will be happy.

Tips for Healthy Eating in Belgium

Belgium is a beautiful country with a rich culinary tradition. However, it can be hard to make healthy choices when dining out in Belgium. Here are some tips for eating healthy in Belgium:

When exploring Belgian cuisine, be sure to order items that are grilled or baked rather than fried. This way, you’ll be eating healthier and avoiding any added oil or grease.

Another key tip for healthy eating in Belgium is to sample dishes before deciding on your entire meal. This will help you make informed choices about what you’d like to eat and avoid unhealthy portions altogether.

Also, be sure to take note of the ingredients listed on food labels when dining out in Belgium. Many of the foods that are popular in this country are high in nutrients and fiber, which can make them great options for overall health and well-being.

Recipes for Belgian Cuisine

Belgian cuisine is known for its hearty and flavorful meals. The key to enjoying Belgian food is to be aware of the local ingredients and customs. Here are some recipes for Belgian cuisine that can help you get started:

1. Spaetzle

This dish, which originated in Austria, is made from egg noodles that are often cooked in a butter or oil sauce with herbs. Spaetzle can be served as a main course or as a side dish.

2. Goulash

Goulash is a Hungarian dish that is based on a beef and vegetable stew that typically contains paprika, oregano, and garlic. The stew usually takes hours to cook, so make sure to allow enough time when making it. Goulash can also be served over rice or pasta.

3. Waffles

Waffles are one of Belgium’s most iconic dishes. Made from flour, sugar, eggs, milk, and baking powder, waffles are battered and then deep-fried until they are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. They can be served as desserts or morning snacks.

4. Frites

Frites are French fries that have been deep-fried until they are light golden brown and crisp. They are commonly eaten as part of a meal with ketchup or Tartar sauce on the side. Frites can also be enjoyed as an afternoon snack by themselves or as part of a communal meal at a Belgian restaurant setting.


In this final article of our series on healthy eating in Belgium, we discuss how to find and enjoy local cuisine for optimal nutrition. Belgian food is known for its diversity and its high quality, but it can be hard to know where to start when looking for nutritious meals. This series has outlined some basics about living a healthful lifestyle in Belgium, citing foods that are common in this country as well as those you may want to avoid based on your dietary preferences or health concerns. By following these tips, you will be able to navigate the abundant local cuisine with ease and reap the nutritional benefits that come with it!

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