Who’s looking for a reason to go out to dinner?
Here’s a great one: an honest-to-goodness healthy meal that’s sure to tempt your tastebuds and might even win you a great prize!
The Frederick County Diabetes Coalition is coordinating the 2011 edition of the Frederick Restaurant Challenge throughout the month of November — American Diabetes Month. The challenge is designed to encourage area restaurants to offer healthy meal options for people with diabetes (or those who simply want to eat healthier).
To participate, go to one of the ten participating restaurants starting Tuesday, November 1st and order the healthy meal. Try it, review it, and you’ll be entered to win great prizes (like a massage at the FMH Wellness Center, for example). The restaurants are also in it to win — the restaurant with the highest-rated meal will be presented with a trophy to proudly display.
Feeling hungry? Plan to grab dinner at one of these participating restaurants:
- Asian Bistro*
- Brewer’s Alley
- Firestone’s Culinary Tavern
- La Paz
- Mariachi Restaurant*
- Mexicali Cantina
- Subway (69 South Market Street)*
- Subway (913 West Seventh Street)*
In order to participate, each restaurant had to submit a healthy recipe to the Frederick County Diabetes Coalition. A Registered Dietician then analyzed the entries to be sure they all had 550 calories or less, 45-60 grams of carbohydrates, 750 mg of sodium or less, no more than 18 grams of fat (including no more than 5 grams of saturated fat), and zero trans fat. Interested in specific nutrition information for each restaurant’s entry? Check out the coalition’s website.
This year, restaurants were encouraged to offer a healthy meal option on their kids’ menus, too (participating restaurants designated with an asterisk above). Healthy meals for children had to meet the following criteria:
- Include a lean protein (eggs, white meat poultry, lean beaf or tofu)
- Include a serving of vegetables and/or fruit
- Do not include any deep fried foods
- Offer low fat or fat free milk as a beverage choice
Even if you don’t have diabetes, making healthy food choices is important. These meals, while prepared with people with diabetes in mind, are great selections for anyone.
“Diabetes is a serious and growing health problem,” says Angela Blair, Chairperson of the Frederick County Diabetes Coalition. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if current trends continue, 1 in 3 Americans will develop diabetes sometime in their lifetime, and those with diabetes will lose, on average, 10–15 years of life.”
So take a night off from dinner-duty, enjoy a healthy meal at one of the participating restaurants, and who knows? You might discover a new favorite restaurant or recipe along with a healthier way of life!