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Swimming in a Sea of Schnitzel

May 24, 2012 by Andrea Godfreyson, Registered Dietitian

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Over the last few months, Dean and I have been swimming in a sea of schnitzel, oxtail, onion rings, cannelloni and curries. If you passed by our desks you would have heard endless discussion about how to determine the sodium absorption of a piece of chicken in a marinade or how to figure out how much oil a samosa absorbs from the deep fryer. All of this has been for work on Informed Dining, helping restaurants in B.C. provide nutrition information to their guests.

With the recent launch of this new program unique to B.C. and almost 300 restaurant locations participating, Dean and I decided we wanted to see Informed Dining in action.

We grabbed our co-worker Kenton, tromped over to one of the participating restaurants and had a seat on the patio (finally, some sun!). Scanning the menu, the colourful Informed Dining logo stood out at the bottom.

I asked the server to see the nutrition menu and the look on his face told me I was one of the first people to ask for it. He stepped away and then reappeared, nutrition info in hand. The nutrition menu was easy to read as it followed the order of the items on the menu with the same information that you find on a Nutrition Facts table. The two highlighted columns, calories and sodium, caught my eye. How did the crab cakes compare to the plantain chips? The information listed was for the portion size served (the whole plate). I knew I was sharing so I just divided the number of calories in my head by 3 to get my serving (assuming I got my share with my co-workers ready, forks in hand!).

I liked having all of the information in front of me to help me make a decision. Kenton was preoccupied as usual, taking photos and making us laugh, so Dean and I read the menu and ordered the snacks. That’s the beauty of the program - the information is there if and when, you want it. Stop Guessing. Start Asking. Check out the participating restaurants and let us know about your experience with Informed Dining.

Questions about Informed Dining? Call 8-1-1 and speak to a registered dietitian.

 

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