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Healthy eating recommendations Center

3 May 2009 3,712 views No Comment

Healthy food isn’t the first thing we think of when we picture the concession stand at our local recreation centre.

You are more likely to find fries and burgers than smoothies and salads – which is why so many parents of young children drag their kids past the café area after swimming – out to the car for a more healthy juice box and granola bar. It is also why teens like to hang around, filling up on fries and sweetened flavoured coffees.

That picture is changing.

The Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre in Victoria, British Columbia received a grant to help them transform their concession into one that serves healthy high quality foods.

This involved changing everything from the name, the menu, the food distributors, the kitchen equipment, servery and seating, to getting ride of the vending machines in the immediate area. Also key to the transformation was changing people’s ideas about healthy quality foods.

Springwell Nutrition Group, a team of registered dietitians with a holistic edge, were contracted to develop nutritional guidelines, a new menu and recipes, and to provide onsite nutrition education materials to support the transition.

What is Quality Food ?

First on the list was defining “What is quality, healthy food?” Something that goes beyond categorizing foods as green, yellow or red foods; something more holistic.

Juan de Fuca and Springwell decided to support a broader view of nutritional health, supporting quality foods – those that contain no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and sweeteners.

They also believed that where food is grown, how it is grown, how it is transported, sold and ultimately prepared and enjoyed are all part of an integrated definition of what is nutritious.

Nutritional guidelines for the café that reflected these values were developed. The guidelines are similar to those used in leading natural foods stores and cafes such as Capers Whole Foods Markets. And yes, they work on a small level!

People are ready – vendors, distributors, cooks and customers – are all ready to take nutrition and health to the next level.

We just need more models of how it’s done and how to do it. Imagine, making money and having happy healthy people enjoying real food!

Café Fresh at JdF Nutritional Guidelines

All products sold are made with natural and/or organic real food ingredients,
without artificial flavours, colours, preservatives or sweeteners

Locally grown, locally sourced and locally manufactured ingredients and products are used whenever possible. Local is defined (in order of preference) as made within:

Greater Victoria
Vancouver Island
Southern BC
Pacific Northwest
Fairly traded imported products are served (coffee, sugar, bananas, chocolate)

Cooking oils are mechanically pressed and/or organic including olive oil; grapeseed oil and organic canola oil

Breads and bread products are made with natural and/or organic sprouted whole grains

Yogurts are organic with live culture probiotics and less than 3.5% milk fat

Nuts, seeds, trail mix are raw or dry roasted, without added salt or oil

Baked products (whether made on site or outsourced) contain:

at least 50% whole grain unbleached organic sprouted grain flours and
at least one nutritional booster: fresh or naturally dried fruit; nuts or nut butter; seeds or seed butter; chia seeds; oatmeal; oat and/or wheat bran.
natural whole food sweeteners such as honey, blackstrap molasses, maple syrup; raw sugar/organic fair trade sugar
Beverages served are natural and/or organic without artificial ingredients

Coffee – organic/fair trade, locally roasted
Tea – organic black, green, white and herbal (mint, chamomile, rooibos)
Fruit juices – only real fruit juice with no added sugars or colors, etc.
Sodas – natural source i.e. Organic Jones Sodas, Flavoured San Pellegrino
Vegetable juices – V-8 and tomato juices (not Splash)
Water – natural bottled waters (without added salt)
Real dishes are used for onsite eating
Take out containers and utensils are recycleable
Bins are available to recycle bottles, cans, and containers
Customers are offered a 10 cent discount for bringing their own cups/containers

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