NEW FEATURE!

Eating Smart Just Got Easier, with SmartPlate

LarasTortillaFlatsBY EMILY DIERINGER

There’s an exciting new initiative that will make it easy for residents of the greater Fox Valley to make great choices when eating away from home. It’s called SmartPlate!

SmartPlate is an initiative that provides local restaurants, caterers, convenience stores and more with nutritionally-sound, smart food options that get a “thumbs up” from local health professionals. You may have heard of our pilot program called eatsmart!. Our regional partners are excited to build on that program with lots of new features, including a new name and logo which launched November 14.

SmartPlate partners like ThedaCare, Affinity Health System, Aurora, re:TH!NK, Community Action for Healthy Living, and local health departments in Northeast Wisconsin have been working with local restaurants, caterers and Fox Valley Technical College to offer and identify items that are made with healthy ingredients like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. Fresh herbs, spices and natural flavors are used to create delicious food without using too much fat, sodium and sugar.

Americans spend about half of their food budgets on restaurant food up from only 25% in 1955. Eating out used to be mostly for special occasions, but it has become more of an every day occurrence even though foods eaten away from home aren’t always “everyday foods.” For consumers who are looking for a healthier option, it can often be difficult to know what a good choice is just by looking at the name of a menu item.

The SmartPlate icon clearly identifies menu items that you can eat everyday. Look for it at local restaurants like Lara’s Tortilla Flats, Mahoney’s, and Manila in Oshkosh, Fin N Feather in Winneconne, Landreman Family Restaurant, Copper Rock and Bagelicious in Appleton, Annie’s Main Café and Luigi’s Pizza in Shawano and Granary Supper Club in Sherwood.

Catering options are one of the newest additions to SmartPlate. LaSure’s in Oshkosh and Bridgewood Conference Center in Neenah are two new partners offering SmartPlate items. A workplace needing to order lunch, or a group hosting an event can just ask for the SmartPlate menu to choose items that co-workers, guests, and employers will enjoy and feel good about eating every day.

Another new SmartPlate partner is Fox Valley Technical College, offering grab and go items that meet the SmartPlate criteria. FVTC culinary arts instructors are working with students to come up with even more SmartPlate entrees. They are learning how to make healthy food taste amazing so when new chefs go to work in local food establishments, they’ll have the skills to create and cook dishes that taste great and are designed for a healthy lifestyle.

Visit the new SmartPlate website at www.smartplatewi.com to get more information and to see a complete list of all partnering restaurants, caterers and other SmartPlate retail food establishments. New locations are being added, so be sure to visit the website often for SmartPlate locations near you!

Emily Dieringer works at the Winnebago Co. Health Dept. as co-coordinator of re:TH!NK, Winnebago’s Healthy Living Partnership. One of her favorite things to eat out is seafood, because she’s too scared to try to cook it at home.

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