Some of Canada’s largest national chain restaurants are participating in the Informed Dining program right across the country. Now Canadians will have greater access to nutrition information so they can make informed choices when eating out.
How does the program work?
Dining out can be convenient, enjoyable and a nice way to connect with friends and family, but it can be hard to make informed choices without access to nutrition information. Because portion sizes vary, ingredients differ, and side dishes can change, estimating the calorie and sodium content of menu items is near impossible. As part of this voluntary program, participating food service establishments provide nutrition information, for all standard menu items, before or at the point of ordering, similar to what is available on pre-packaged foods at the grocery store.
Calorie and sodium information are highlighted for all standard menu items. To help Canadians understand how menu items fit into their daily nutrient needs, information on daily calorie and sodium requirements is provided.
How do I know if a food service establishment is participating?
Look for the Informed Dining logo on menus and menu boards. Once you see the Informed Dining logo, you can be confident that nutrition information is nearby in the form of a nutrition menu, brochure, poster or electronic tablet.
Participating national chains:
- Quiznos Nutrition Information
- Subway Nutrition Information
- White Spot Nutrition Information
- Boston Pizza Nutrition Information
- The Keg Nutrition Information
- Pizza Pizza Nutrition Information
- Tim Hortons Nutrition Information
- ABC Country Restaurant Nutrition Information
- McDonald's Nutrition Information
- A&W Nutrition Information
- Extreme Pita Nutrition Information
Why focus on calories and sodium?
Restaurant menu items can be very high in calories. Sometimes one menu item can have an entire day's worth of calories.
Eating too many calories makes it difficult to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Just a few extra calories a day can tip the balance. Excess weight can increase your risk for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and various cancers.
Knowing your calorie needs and how many calories are in your food can help you make informed choices. Healthy adults should aim for 2000 to 2400 calories per day. Individual needs vary depending on age, activity level and gender.
We all need some sodium, but most of us eat about 3400 mg of sodium per day – well above the recommended range of 1500 to 2300 mg for healthy adults.
Diets high in sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which can result in stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. Eating less sodium can help you and your family stay healthy and feel your best.
In addition to calories and sodium, participating restaurants also provide nutrition information on the 13 core nutrients found on a Nutrition Facts table, such as trans fat, dietary fibre, protein and sugars.
Look for the Informed Dining logo at your favourite restaurant, café or cafeteria the next time you eat out and use the nutrition information available to make informed choices.
I own a food service establishment outside of BC, can I participate?
Restaurants must have at least one location in BC to participate in Informed Dining and have the choice to implement in BC locations only or nationally. If you have a BC restaurant click here.
What resources are available to train staff?
- Resources are available to download to help food service staff understand the program and to assist guests in knowing where to get more information.