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Diversify beverage offerings for a healthier bottom line

Restaurant Business Online reports that the moves consumers have been making toward health in the last few years can no longer be considered just a trend—they’re now the norm, and retailers and foodservice operators have had to answer the call for healthier options in order to compete for share of stomach.

In the [...]

Culinary nutrition secrets of your summer fruits and veggies

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist,

I am a huge fan of summer and all the food it brings us. It is not only full of mouthwatering flavors, but also nourishment. Turns out, if you handle and cook fruits and veggies properly, you can bring out even more of their wondrous health benefits. [...]

What to do when your 1000-calorie burger meets the new menu labeling law

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist,

Being held responsible for your customers’ diets is probably not something a chef or an operator is looking forward to. Understandable.

But since the menu labeling law is just around the corner, you are going to need an easy-to-implement, reliable solution. Let’s face it: some of your [...]

'All Natural' Products: Check Under the Hood Before You Buy

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist,

When I see a packaged food with a ‘natural’ claim on it, I am always perplexed. Natural vs. what? Artificial? Or synthetic? Isn’t all food supposed to be natural? To me, it’s kind of like seeing produce advertised as ‘fresh’ at a grocery store: what other options are [...]

The 'Dirty Dozen': how to position your produce, cut costs, and create more value

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist,

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has recently released the 2011 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, designed to inform consumers on total pesticide loads found in conventionally grown produce. Many have come to know the list as the ‘Dirty Dozen’.

Here is a quick re-cap:

This year [...]

Gluten-free menus: embracing the craze!

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist,

Call it a trend, a fad, or a diet, but gluten-free fare IS a big deal. One in one hundred thirty three individuals in the US claims to have Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Not only that, but between 2006 and 2010, sales of gluten-free products in [...]

Changing 'wanting' into 'buying': why the tide is about to turn

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist,

We say we want to eat healthy…but do we always follow through? Research has shown this is not always the case.

But even though it is proving to be a lot more difficult for consumers to do what they say, I would argue that it is only a [...]

Adding flavor and substance to your vegetable-based dishes

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist,

Although vegetable-based dishes are becoming more popular, there is still plenty of work to be done before they earn the well-deserved respect and become a common occurrence on the menu.

In my conversations with a number of chefs about creating more vegetable-based dishes on the menu, two big [...]

Here is another great reason to get more plant-based ingredients into your menu

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist,

Everybody is talking about fiber. It is a hot selling nutrient, and even the makers of Fruit Loops have recently decided to put some into their magic cereal recipe. But what if I told you that even though labels may point to the presence of fiber in a [...]

How to get kids excited about their healthy menu choices

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist,

Everyone knows that kids and broccoli don’t go together. But the task still remains: we have to find ways to get kids excited about more nutritious and more balanced food.

So if replacing french fries with baby carrots doesn’t always do the trick, what other options do we [...]

Add these spring veggies to your seasonal menu!

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist,

Spring is a beautiful season. It brings awakening, new life, freshness, and a wonderful variety of delicious veggies!

Here are some ideas on how some of the common favorites can be incorporated into a menu:

Artichokes: baby artichokes can be eaten raw with just a [...]

6 Things you need to know when putting together a gluten-free menu

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist,

Gluten-free menus may be yesterday’s news, but there is still much confusion going on about how to do it 100% accident-free.

If you are thinking about adding a few gluten-free items to the menu, here are a few important things to remember.

1. Gluten-free kitchen space. [...]

Where do colors on your menu come from?

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist,

March has been announced National Nutrition Month by the American Dietetic Association inspiring us to Eat Right with Color. Color is something we all enjoy, so here are some ideas if you are considering incorporating the marketing elements of this initiative into your foodservice operation.

Think beyond fruits [...]

Create a healthy menu without counting the calories!

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist,

Many restaurants are still quite skeptical about offering healthy options. And that’s understandable: changing menus and counting calories can be time consuming and onerous tasks. But if you are already investing in good quality, wholesome ingredients why not simply focus on those specifically? You can do so by [...]

The USDA Dietary Guidelines and Your Menu: Meeting Customers Half Way

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist,

Earlier this week the USDA released the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The summed up recommendations are as follows:

Balance calories by controlling portion sizes; Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables (half a plate) and switch to fat-free or low-fat (2%) milk; Reduce consumption of sodium and sugary [...]