Local Restaurants Offer Healthier Children’s Menu Options
Eat Well! El Paso kicks off during Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
The City of El Paso Department of Public Health is announcing the first wave of restaurants that are fully participating in the Eat Well! El Paso Restaurant Initiative. The announcement comes as the City and the nation celebrate National Childhood Obesity Prevention Month. The program is aimed at creating healthier children’s menus at local restaurants, and is funded by a grant from the Paso del Norte Health Foundation.
“There is a trend at both the state and national level for restaurants to offer healthier options, but many local owners do not have the resources available to create recipes that meet standard nutritional guidelines,” said Sue Beatty, Health Education and Promotion manager. “It is so exciting to see the transformation of the children’s menus as we assist local businesses to be part of the movement that will help El Paso children learn to eat healthy at every meal,” she added.
The Eat Well! El Paso Restaurant Initiative is a free, voluntary restaurant recognition program to increase healthy food choices for children by improving entrée and side offerings, choosing healthier cooking methods, and offering healthier beverage options. Owners receive assistance from nutrition professionals to create a children’s menu with healthy food selections. Participating restaurants are responding to current industry trends toward healthier and fresher foods and they are helping to create a new social norm in our community of healthy food options for children when eating out.
In order for a children’s meal to be included in the program, it must meet established nutritional standards that include calorie, fat, and sodium limits. In addition, sugar sweetened beverages such as sodas are not allowed on the children’s menu. Allowable beverages include 100% juice, low fat or fat free milk, and other unsweetened beverages such as water or tea.
The following restaurants have successfully launched their new Eat Well! El Paso children’s menus:
• Mambo Restaurant, 6401 Alameda
• Sam’s Chinese Restaurant, 1501 E. Yandell
• The Pizza Joint, 2900 N. Mesa
• Mi Pueblo Nuevo, 5630 Gateway East, Ste A-1
• Gonzalos G&R Restaurant, 401 E. Nevada
To learn more about the Eat Well! El Paso Restaurant Initiative, visit our website at EPHealth.com and click on the special projects tab.