Eat Well-Restaurant Initiative
The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) Eat Well! El Paso Restaurant Initiative is a FREE voluntary restaurant recognition program of locally owned full service restaurants which successfully increase healthy food choices for children in their menu by improving entrée and side offerings, using healthier cooking methods, and offering healthier beverage options. Restaurants are not required to already have a children’s menu to participate. Owners receive assistance from nutrition professionals, at no cost, to create a new children’s menu with more healthful food selections for families and their children when they eat out. By becoming an Eat Well! El Paso restaurant, these businesses are not only responding to current industry and customer trends toward healthier and fresher foods and they help create a healthier food environment for our community. Participating restaurants also receive support to produce and market their new healthy children’s menu and will be recognized and promoted as an Eat Well! El Paso restaurant.
The El Paso Restaurant Association, the El Paso Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Colleges of Health Science at UTEP endorse Eat Well! El Paso. It is made possible through a Healthy Eating Active Living grant from the Paso del Norte Health Foundation.
The following restaurants are participating in the Eat Well! El Paso Healthy Children’s Menu Initiative:
Andale Mexican Cuisine
Forti's Mexican Elder
La Tierra Café
Garufa Argentinean Restaurant
Mi Pueblo Nuevo Restaurant
Gonzolo’s G&R Restaurant
The Pizza Joint
Café La Malinche
Zino's Greek & Mediterranean Cuisine
Good Luck Café
El Jacalito Restaurant
Zino’s Greek and Mediterranean Cuisine
The Pizza Joint
The Mustard Seed Café
The Grooovy Smoothie
The Green Ingredient
Partnering Venues Offering Healthier Children's Menu Options:
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE
Food service establishments located in the County of El Paso, TX which:
- Have a fixed location (no mobile vendors)
- Are full service family restaurants (must have a full menu, carry out complex preparation of food items, and have table service)
- Have complete local control and decision authority over the restaurant menu (establishment must not have to obtain permission through a corporate or out of town company office such as food chains or corporate companies)
- Already offer or can offer at least one healthy adult food option (ie. Salads)
- Have a valid health permit and a valid business license issued by the City of El Paso
- Are in and maintain good standing with the Department of Public Health (must have received a food inspection and received a passing grade within the previous year at the time of program registration)
HOW WILL IT WORK?
Becoming an Eat Well! El Paso, restaurant is easy!
- Restaurants owners or authorized representative complete program registration
- Select level of participation that best suites the restaurant(Restaurant owners can select from three levels)
- Meet with a Registered Dietician (RD) to discuss nutritional review of the restaurant’s children menu
- Work with the RD to select new menu options to create a new healthy children’s menu
- Sign a non-binding agreement with Department of Public Health
- Work with graphic technician to design restaurant’s new healthy children’s menu
- Launch and promote new menu
- Participate in marketing activities & events
WHY A RESTAURANT INITIATIVE?
The number of overweight and obese children in the US is rising. In 2010, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Kids who are obese are at a much greater risk for serious chronic health problems now and later in life such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. A key to reducing childhood obesity is good nutrition. Children who eat nutritious food and are active have a greater chance of becoming healthy adults. Studies also show that children who are not overweight or obese are happier, do better in school, and enjoy higher self-esteem and confidence.
In the U.S., eating out is a growing and significant part of families’ diets. American’s spend half of their food budget (46%) on eating out.Eating out has also been associated with adult and childhood obesity. It is important to help families make healthier choices when eating outside the home. Restaurants can play an important role in helping families with this.They can provide information, make small changes in food preparation, and offer healthier beverages, sides, and entrees in their menus.
Many fast food establishments are already responding to by posting calories and nutrition information on their menus in order to help customers make informed choices. Smaller non-chain restaurants may not have the capabilityon how to include healthy options on their children’s menus. The Eat Well! El Paso program works with locally owned restaurant owners, who want to voluntarily make healthy changes to their menu. Our program staff guides restaurants owners to help them make effective and practical changes to their menus to make them healthier.
TO SIGN UP CONTACT
Department of Public Health
Health Education & Promotion
Eat Well! El Paso Program