Monday, March 5, 2012

Is that side salad an investment?

Today (during a conversation that started with a discussion about the food  served at meetings) a coworker mentioned that he used to make his meal choices based on cost instead of what was healthy. (bc people tend to serve cheap food instead of fruits etc at meetings)  He said that he would just get the fries or chips with his meal instead of substituting a salad because it cost an extra dollar or two.  Now he sees his health, and that of his family, as worthy of the investment.

There were three of us in this conversation and I was the only woman (just in case you are curious).  We were ages mid 30s to 50.

I shared that I thought that this was a restaurant policy (or normal practice) that needed to be changed.  He was right though.  Have you noticed?  Restaurants always charge more for the salad when you want to have it instead of a starchy, high calorie side item. They seem a little more friendly when it comes to substituting fresh fruit - but many don't have fruit available.

My other colleague mentioned side items at fast food restaurants  - specifically in kids meals. He said that Arby's kid's meals come with fruit by default!  If you want fries you have to ask for them instead.  It was the only restaurant we knew of that made the healthy choice the easy one.  He added that his kids don't even know that kids meals used to come with fries!

I say, "KUDOS to Arby's. I am indeed impressed."

PS - getting the salad is only a healthy choice if you don't load it up with high fat dressing!
PSS - writing this made me get a great idea for a policy initiative - little p - just getting restaurants to buy into offering the salad for free (in place of a high fat item) and then giving them public recognition for doing so....


Anonymous said...

McD's recently changed their happy meals - now, instead of fries or apples upon request, children receive a smaller portion of fries + apples. While this is good for those whose parents never opted for apples, it's not great for those who wish to avoid the fries altogether. Best bet: pack a lunch at home! Also I couldn't agree more re paying for HEALTH via food choices than paying for CARE once the damage is done. Food is preventative medicine!

Nil Zed said...

Subway also offers apples, or chips (baked are available) or a cookie. My son knows the drill, the bags of apple slices are right beside the milk and he gets to get them himself. He has no idea all those other bags and packets are an option for him, even though they are at his eye level in front of the counter.

Panera offers ( an over sugared tube of) yogurt or an apple. So few people choose the apple that we often don't get it when we order it. Chick-fil-a has fruit cup, carrot salad or coleslaw.

We don't really go to burger places except a locally owned one which doesn't offer any sides but fries. We pretty much go there because we have decided to have fries as theirs are fresh cut and cooked to order.

I've avoided teaching him that fries/chips are a default side order. He also thinks flavored milk IS a milkshake He's a suspicious avoider of new foods, even new sweets! He's almost 5 though, so soon will be exposed to a lot of new people's opinions and habits.