November 13, 2012

County Health Department promoting healthy choices at restaurants


Healthy selections are based on six criteria: they have to have fewer than 750 calories, less than 35 percent fat content, less than 10 percent saturated fat, no transfat, one serving of fresh vegetable and one lean protein.

Healthy choices are identified on the menu by the symbol of a knife, fork and tape measure located next to the option.

Guma’s also has “table tents” displayed on all tables and countertops with information about the Healthy Plates Program and directions on how to find those healthy choices on the menu.

“When people go out to eat for a celebration, they don’t always use caloric information (on menus),” Raville noted. “But when they eat out for necessity, they do watch calories.

“A lot of people (utilizing area restaurants) have been told by their doctors to watch what they eat,” she added. “They deserve the opportunity to go out to eat once in awhile and to have choices their doctor would approve.”


And that is one reason Guma’s was an exciting choice as the pilot for the program, Snay noted.

“When you have a popular family restaurant that is owned by a family from the community, that can only be an encouragement for other restaurants to jump on board as we move forward into 2013,” she said. “Our goal is to develop a full program across the county.”

The Health Department would also like to develop some kind of incentive program to help area restaurants become involved in the program, she said.

Jerry Deno, co-owner of the restaurant and Raville’s father, said customers have not always come in looking for healthier menu items but have often chosen those even before they were identified.

“The grilled chicken and the grilled trout have always been popular,” he said.

Now, customers at Guma’s can clearly recognize those healthy choices with help from the Healthy Plates Program.

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