We are pleased to announce that several national chain restaurants are rolling out the Informed Dining program across the country. Now Canadian consumers will have greater access to nutrition information when dining out.
The Informed Dining program assists consumers with the facts they need to make informed choices when dining out. You can be confident when eating at participating restaurants that you'll have access to nutrition information before you make your menu choice.
How does the program work?
Dining out can be convenient and pleasurable, but it can be a challenge to make informed choices. Because portion sizes vary, ingredients differ, and side dishes can change, estimating the calories and sodium of menu items is near impossible. As part of this voluntary program, participating restaurants provide nutrition information, before or at the point of ordering, similar to what is available on pre-packaged foods at the grocery store. Calorie and sodium information is highlighted for all standard menu items. To help Canadians understand how menu items fit into their daily nutrient needs information is also displayed on daily calorie and sodium requirements.
How do I know if a restaurant is participating?
Look for the Informed Dining logo on restaurant 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 chain restaurants:
- Quiznos Nutrition Information
- Subway Nutrition Information
- White Spot Nutrition Information
- Dairy Queen Nutrition Information
- Boston Pizza Nutritional Information
- The Keg Nutritional Information
- Pizza Pizza Nutritional Information
- Tim Hortons Nutritional Information
- ABC Country Restaurant Nutritional Information
- McDonald's Nutritional Information
- A&W Nutritional Information
- Extreme Pita Nutritional Information
- Booster Juice Nutritional 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.
DID YOU KNOW? A chicken Caesar salad menu item can contain as much as 1100 calories and 1500 mg of sodium.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 to make better 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 more than double the amount we need. Canadians consume more than double the amount of sodium we need, and about 75 per cent of the sodium we eat comes from processed foods, including restaurant foods.
Eating too much sodium can be harmful to our health and cause high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. Eating less sodium can help you and your family stay healthy and feel your best.
Most adults should aim for 1500 to 2300 milligrams of sodium a day. Eating more than 2300 mg of sodium per day increases your risk of health problems.
Look for the Informed Dining logo at your favourite restaurant and ask for the nutrition information to help you make informed healthier choices.
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.
I own a Restaurant, how can I participate?
Currently, restaurants that have at least one location in BC can participate in BC or nationally. We are working hard to expand the program for restaurants located outside of BC. If you have a BC restaurant click here.
I'm an Informed Dining restaurant, what resources are available to train my staff?
Downloadable resources are available to help food service staff understand the program and to assist guests in knowing where to get more information.
The British Columbia government in collaboration with both the Canadian and BC Foodservices Association and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (BC & Yukon) developed the Informed Dining Program with the first restaurant participating in the spring of 2012.