Better Bites: Restaurant Edition highlights healthy options on menus, particularly items geared toward children. Seeing the Better Bites icon on menus helps diners choose delicious, healthy items, easily. Full service restaurants feature at least three items that meet the nutrition guidelines, while smaller establishments feature two Better Bites items. The items could be something already on the menu. A Registered Dietitian on our staff helps make sure the items meet the nutritional specifications and John Foster, Sullivan University culinary expert, provides guidance about making the items delicious and appealing.
The National Restaurant Association’s 2013 annual survey of restaurant trends rated healthful kid’s meals as the third largest area of growth in the entire industry. It was on the same list as artisan ice cream, microbrew beers and gluten-free menus. In fact, of the 20 top trends, 25 percent were directly related to children’s health. Click here to see survey. We’re excited to have a history of partnering with restaurants in the Lexington community who want to make healthful kids meals a priority. Unfortunately, we are not accepting new restaurant partners at this time. However, you can find Better Bites approved menus at the following restaurants.
Better Bites items available at Windy Corner include:
Willa’s Favorite — White Cheddar whole grain quesadilla.
Silver Dollar Weisenberger Corncake Shorties —
Three baby johnnycakes topped with choice of pulled pork with a sprinkling of cheese.
Stone Cross Farm Mini Beef Burger — All local beef on a whole-grain bun. Dressed how you like it.
Chicken Breast Fingers — Freshly made in our kitchen, rolled in Weisenberger cornmeal and fried or griddle seared.
Kid’s Breakfast Plate (available during breakfast hours) — One scrambled egg, choice of bacon or sausage patty with biscuit or home fries and fruit cup.
Better Bites items available at Wallace Station include:
Kid’s PB&J — Choose your bread with or without crust.
Kid’s Grilled Cheese — Choose your bread with or without crust.
Kid’s Turkey or Ham — Choose turkey or ham and cheese — white Cheddar, American or Swiss — and choose your bread with or without crust.
All options are served with fresh fruit or carrot and celery sticks and a pickle.
Better Bites items offered at Smithtown Seafood include:
Willa’s Favorite — Kenny’s White Cheddar whole-grain quesadilla.
Kentucky Mini Beef Burger — All local beef on a whole grain bun. Dressed how you like it.
Catfish Fingers— Freshly cut in our kitchen, griddle seared.
Each kid’s meal served with vegetable of the day or small house salad or fruit.
A Better Bites entrée must contain 2 or more of the items below. A Better Bites side (soup, salad, bread, dessert, etc.) must contain one of more of the items below.
- ½ cup fruit
- ½ cup vegetables (not fried)
- 1 serving whole grain (1 slice bread or ½ cooked grain)
- 2 ounces lean meat or ½ cup beans or ¼ cup nuts or seeds or 1 egg or ¼ cup tofu
- Dairy — milk, yogurt, cheese (½ cup or 1 ounce cheese)
If an item has significantly more of a preferred nutrient but doesn’t meet the requirement for another nutrient, a nutritionist will evaluate it for inclusion in the Better Bites program. For example, if a packaged oatmeal has 6 grams of fiber but is over the acceptable sugar limit by 2 grams, the merits of the fiber could override the additional sugar.
*Note that these guidelines are different than the guidelines for concession stands and after school programs. Because restaurants have more equipment and are in the business of preparing food there are higher nutritional standards for them.