Better Bites, the program that brings healthy snacks to kids all over Lexington at pools, ballparks, schools, and camps, has spread to restaurants. Windy Corner is the first restaurant to get on board and Wallace Station and the 17 Kentucky State Parks are not far behind. A group of Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition members went to Windy Corner for lunch yesterday and I’m here to tell you that the Better Bites were delicious, beautiful, and reasonably-priced.
Ashton Potter Wright and 2- year old Vada Fedewa got Willa’s Favorite, white cheddar on a whole grain tortilla, grilled to perfection and cut into 4 easy-to-eat triangles and tucked into a perky little basket. Ashton got the fresh and delish side salad that came with it. Vada went for the fruit. For $4.95 it was a good deal. I tried the Silver Dollar Weisenberger Corncakes with pulled pork and a side of fresh veggies for $5.95. It was scrumptious. I usually end up eating more than I need at restaurants, but this felt, in the words of Goldilocks, to be “just right”. There’s also a Stone Cross Mini Burger on a whole grain bun ($4.95) on the menu and Kid’s Oatmeal drizzled with local honey and served with a fruit cup ($3.95).
All these items have the Better Bites icon next to them on the menu and meet the Nutrition Guidelines for Better Bites Restaurant Edition. The entrees are all under 500 calories, the sodium is under 750 mg and there are meaningful amounts of important nutrients. To become a Better Bites certified restaurant, Windy Corner cut back a bit on portion sizes, emphasized whole grains, made all the sides healthy, and took off the ice cream cone that came with every kid’s order. These are significant changes and can start to shift children’s tastes and expectations about going out to eat beyond fried chicken nuggets and soda! Casey Hinds said she was looking forward to coming back with her kids and not having to have a long, drawn-out conversation with about substituting something healthy for the French fries, chips, or cookie that seem to come along with most kids’ meals.
I heartily encourage you to go out and try a Better Bite at Windy Corner and to encourage other restaurants to join us. You can direct them to tweenslex.org for more information of they can contact Ashton Potter Wright. And don’t forget, adults can order Better Bites too.
Special thanks to restaurant wizard Ouita Michel and super chefs Jon Sanning (Windy Corner) and Lanny Landsdale (Wallace Station) for making the healthy choice the easy and delicious choice for families in Lexington. These are the kinds of changes that will change the food landscape and support healthy lives in the Commonwealth, that could someday become the Coomonhealth.
And a shout out to the Better Bites: Restaurant Edition Team–
John Foster and Libby Allen of Culinary Arts at Sullivan University
Jon Parker (who came up with the idea of expanding Better Bites to restaurants) and Cody Alton of United Way of the Bluegrass
Melanie Johnson of Baptist HealthwoRx
Diana Doggett of UK Cooperative Extension
Ashton Potter Wright and Anita Courtney of Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition
And thanks to Adam Kuhn of Bullhorn for graphic design!