Healthy Restaurant Menu Options
Healthy Menu Options
Restaurant diners always say that they want more healthy options, yet restaurants report that the healthy options really do not sell. Few people actually buy the restaurant’s healthy menu options. Taste is the number one reason why people buy food or select food. Unfortunately, healthy food has a bad rap as having poor flavor, which is not necessarily true. The problem can be confusing for the restaurateur whose first reaction is to take the healthy food options off the menu.
Customers Demand Healthy Tasty Menu Choices
Customers continue to demand healthier menu choices, so it is up to the chefs of the future to learn how to make them healthy and tasty. As a nutrition instructor at the Culinary Arts School of Yorktowne Business Institute, I am teaching the students how to prepare healthy menu items. The culinary chefs of the future will have to be more aware of this in order to become successful in their trade.
Government Mandated Healthy Eating
Obesity in the United States has been growing steadily since 1991 and is becoming more and more of a health care issue. The Center for Disease Control is reporting as much as 80% of the American population has a preventable disease. Fewer people are dieting and instead are focusing on eating more of what they consider healthy foods (fat-free, sugar-free, low calorie). This trend is alarming, as food decisions are based on the marketing of a product, and also encourages government-mandated healthy choices.
Fat Free, Sugar Free Not Always Healthy
The marketing of products based on being fat or sugar-free is a trend that does not take into consideration whether the product is made from quality ingredients. Hydrogenated fat is a perfect example. It is a manufactured fat that has recently been singled out for labeling legislation due to its negative impact on health. When we buy food based on a marketing tactic with no consideration of its healthy or not-healthy ingredients, it opens the door for government-mandated legislation. If we are not going to take care of ourselves, then the government will do it for us! This is a scary thought.
Everyone Is Responsible For Health
Everyone is responsible for her or his own health. Only you can choose what you put in your mouth. If you choose a healthy recipe and it does not taste good, then tell the restaurant that you want healthy that tastes good. Restaurants must operate on a profit basis and will respond to customer feedback. Are you just giving lip service to healthy living or are you taking action steps each day to make healthier choices? We have many benefits to living in the 21st century. We can eat a mango in Pennsylvania in the middle of January, we have friends all over the world, we can travel from Arizona to New York in about 8 hours…the list goes on and on.
With all of those advantages come some responsibilities. One is the responsibility to take care of our bodies. Restaurants have a responsibility to offer food that is healthy. Chefs have a responsibility to learn how to cook healthy, tasty food options. Corporations have a responsibility to be honest and create quality products. It is not the government’s responsibility to legislate good health. We the individuals must demand good food choices and take responsibility for our health and the health of our children.