Known for offering the largest selection of certified organic fruits and vegetables in Orange County, California, Mother’s Market & Kitchen announced that it is partnering with Healthy Dining. Healthy Dining, a dietitian-led program, provides eaters with digital tools and resources to find the best restaurant choices for their dietary goals and healthy lifestyles. RDBA chatted with Healthy Dining’s Nicole Ring, R.D. to find out more about the program at Mother’s Market.
How does this program make shoppers’ lives easier?
Healthy Dining has helped to take the guesswork out of identifying healthier options at Mother’s Market. Shoppers will know they can trust that the recommended items have been thoroughly reviewed and vetted by a team of dietitians to ensure that these items meet specific nutrition criteria. Mother’s Market has been granted Healthy Dining’s stamp of approval.
What criteria do you use to choose meals for the Healthy Dining Finder?
We feature menu items that include wholesome ingredients such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins (skinless, white-meat poultry, fish, seafood, beef, pork, tofu, beans and eggs), and unsaturated fats. Additionally, menu items must meet the following nutrient criteria:
Entrées (or full meals):
750 calories or less
25 grams of fat or less
8 grams of saturated fat or less
Appetizers, side dishes and desserts:
250 calories or less
8 grams of fat or less
3 grams of saturated fat or less
If an item exceeds only one of these criteria (fat, saturated fat, or calories) by up to 10%, that item may still be included on the website. We also flag items as “sodium savvy” to indicate best choices for diners watching their sodium including entrées containing 750 milligrams sodium or less and side dishes, appetizers, and desserts containing 250 milligrams sodium or less.
What are the benefits for Mother’s Market?
Mother’s Market has been granted Healthy Dining’s stamp of approval for a selection of their menu items that meet the Healthy Dining nutrition criteria. Additionally, the HealthyDiningFinder.com website – the only resource of its kind – puts Mother’s Market on the radar for the growing contingent of health-, nutrition-, and weight-minded shoppers and diners looking to make the best choices when eating away from home. As a result of this process and the relationship with Healthy Dining, Mother’s Market benefits from third-party validation of its healthful choices. Due to Healthy Dining’s expertise regarding nutrition analysis, Mother’s Market can feel confident in the numbers (calories, fat, etc.) they are sharing with their customers.
How will this program be impacted by FDA’s Menu Calorie Labeling Rule?
The menu labeling regulations affect entities that have 20 or more locations operating under the same name and providing substantially the same menu items or restaurant-type food (i.e., food that is usually eaten on the premises, while walking away, or soon after arriving at another location; such as made-to-order sandwiches ordered from a menu or menu board at a grocery store). Mother’s Market is a small chain and therefore will not be subject to this regulation.
Entities that are not required to comply with the new regulation can still participate by “opting in” voluntarily to provide their customers with nutrition information.
Nicole Ring, R.D., Vice President of Nutrition Strategy at Healthy Dining Finder, is a registered dietitian with over ten years’ experience working with hundreds of restaurants to create and offer healthier choices. As VP of Nutrition Strategy, Nicole oversees all aspects of the company’s nutrient services portfolio, including nutrient analysis, gluten and allergen identification, accuracy verification and analysis audits. Nicole also helps with the development of Healthy Dining’s nutrition-related marketing tools and resources and works with participating restaurants to offer a range of unique, creative opportunities to benefit from their participation in Healthy Dining. Additionally, Nicole is active within the dietetic community, holding various elected and appointed positions with local and state dietetic associations.