Hawker foods are popular and are often selected as most families’ dining options due to its convenience and affordable prices. However, food choices available at hawker centres or food courts may not be necessarily good for your health.

"According to the National Health Survey conducted in 2018, Singaporeans are consuming too much salt, mostly contributed by seasonings, salt and sauces used during cooking. The total intake of sugar has also increased, mainly from the consumption of pre-packaged sugar-sweetened beverages, confectionery and desserts. Therefore, it is important to recognise and make healthier food choices when dining out," advises dietitians from the ​​​​Department of Nutrition and Dietetics​ at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH), a member of the SingHealth​ group.

Here are some healthier swap ideas for you:

When having "economy rice" dishes...

Choose:Instead Of:

Brown rice

​White rice, flavoured rice, fried rice

Steamed, stewed, braised or
stir-fried dishes

Deep fried dishes (e.g. sweet and sour chicken, fried squid, cereal prawns)

Less and light gravy (e.g. oyster sauce, soy sauce)

Thick, oily or sweet gravy (e.g. curry, sweet & sour)

Vegetables cooked with light seasoning

Sayur lodeh (in coconut gravy), sambal chili, sweet sauce seasoning, vegetable tempura

Order more vegetables dishes
Limit to 1 meat dish
Or substitute meat with tofu

Mostly meat or protein-based dishes
No vegetables

Ask for less rice - most economy rice stalls give too much. Some examples of healthy economy rice meals:

  1. Steamed tofu with minced pork + shanghai greens in oyster sauce + stir-fried mixed vegetables
  2. Chicken stir-fried with ginger + long beans stir-fried with sliced red chilli and onions + stir-fried Chinese cabbage
  3. Stingray in assam (tamarind) gravy + stir-fried bitter gourd + stir-fried cauliflower and carrots

When having noodle dishes...

Choose:Instead of:

Non-fried noodles (e.g. kway teow, beehoon)

Deep fried noodles (e.g. instant noodles, yee mee)

Clear soup (e.g. yong tau foo,
fish soup)

Thickened soup, coconut based, oily soup (e.g. curry laksa, lor mee)

Non-fried ingredients

Fried ingredients (e.g. fried fish, fried tofu)

Sliced meatMinced meat

Fresh toppings (e.g. spring onion, garlic, parsley)

Fried shallots, anchovies

Ask for less noodles and more vegetables. Examples of healthy noodle meals:

  1. Yong tau foo / Chinese soup dish
  2. Sliced fish noodles
  3. Seafood soup with rice or noodles
  4. Ban mian (handmade noodle soup) with sliced chicken or fish instead of minced pork. Avoid asking for more fried ikan bilis (dried anchovies) and fried shallots
  5. Penang laksa
  6. Dry wanton noodle with no added oil, and pickled green chilli as condiment

Discover more healthier food court ​​choices​ in the next page.

Ref: L20