Hartford restaurants get help creating healthier menu options
HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) – UConn Health experts and community members are helping select city restaurants create healthier menu options.
They focus on lower sodium and higher fiber things in an effort to help promote healthier lifestyles.
Channel 3 followed which restaurants received feedback.
“My favorite so far was the vegan plantain cups. It was *chefs kiss* so good. The flavor, the looks, the aroma, it was fantastic,” said Shanika Williams, Community Ambassador.
Shanika Williams is one of many Community Ambassadors who help Hartford restaurants improve their menus and find healthy alternatives.
“I like that it’s well seasoned, not too salty and it’s good to bring healthy food options to the community,” said Kevin Mercado, another Community Ambassador.
UConn Health experts have worked with restaurants in the capital to change the ingredients served in meals to include more whole grains and less sodium.
“In order to reduce or decrease the prevalence of chronic diseases in the community, we need to make some changes in the way we eat. We also need to make it accessible and affordable for people,” said Catalina Quesada, community education specialist at UConn Health.
The hope is that small changes in diet can ultimately make a difference in the fight against chronic diseases like obesity.
“It’s really important that these restaurants only do the smallest parts of changing sodium levels, changing the type of butter they cook their food with,” said Jotty Estrella, a member of the Department of Health and City of Hartford Social Services.
Community Ambassadors have suggested changes to restaurants like Mr. Pizza, and today they got to taste the modified menu items and provide their feedback.
“We made a BBQ chicken pizza with a very low sodium BBQ sauce,” says Kiriakos Christoforakis, owner of Mr. Pizza.
The goal: to promote a healthier Hartford with community input.
“It’s hard to change eating habits, but just having other options for others, I think, is just a step in the right direction,” said Erroljh Barrett, assistant leisure counselor communities in the city of Hartford.
This collaboration has been going on for almost a year.
Restaurants received feedback today and people will soon be able to enjoy healthier options in restaurants.
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