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The Eat Well Program Helps you Choose Healthy, Delicious Options When Dining Out

By Norwalk Health Department

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NORWALK, CT - If you are one of the millions of Americans searching for healthy, delicious prepared foods at restaurants and markets in your area, look no further! Whether it’s a special occasion or a quick meal on the go, healthy options are on the menu, and the Eat Well Healthy Restaurant Program can help you find them.

The Eat Well Healthy Restaurant Program is a partnership between the Norwalk and Fairfield Health Departments, the Healthy for Life Project, and food establishments in the area to highlight healthy options on some of your favorite menus. Since it launched a little more than a year ago, the program has grown to include 14 establishments at 22 locations, including markets, delis, fast casual restaurants, and sit-down dining.

“This initiative is a great collaborative effort between our health departments and local food establishments to help consumers make the healthy choice an easy one,” explained Santina Jaronko, MS, CHES, Health Educator at the Fairfield Health Department.

In addition to helping consumers make smart, tasty choices for themselves and their families, the Eat Well Healthy Restaurant Program is good for business! Participating restaurants get added exposure and access to a registered dietitian to help them craft healthier options. According to the National Restaurant Association, 80% of restaurant customers are paying more attention to the nutrition content of their food, and healthful kids’ menus are a top food trend for this year.

“So many restaurants and markets in our area are already offering healthier options, because their customers demand it,” explained Theresa Argondezzi, MPH, CHES, Health Educator at the Norwalk Health Department. “Eat Well highlights how delicious eating healthy can be.”

To be eligible to participate, food establishments must be in good standing with their local health department, and they must offer at least 3 menu options that meet the programs nutrition criteria. Eat Well bases its nutrition criteria (limits for calories and fat for adult dishes, and more complex criteria for kids’ menus) on the National Restaurant Association’s Healthy Dining program.

Look for the Healthy for Life Project’s Eat Well logo at participating restaurants to learn which menu options meet our nutrition criteria. For a full list of the participating restaurants and the healthy options they have to offer, please visit www.healthyforlifeproject.org. And don’t forget to follow the Healthy for Life Project on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@Healthy4LifeCT) to be the first to know when new restaurants are added and to get other great tips about Eating Well, Moving More, and Living Better!

The Eat Well Healthy Restaurant Program is funded through the generous support of the Campbell’s Healthy Communities program and the CT State Department of Public Health, as well as the Fairfield and Norwalk Health Departments.

The Eat Well program is part of the Healthy for Life Project, whose mission is to reduce and prevent obesity and chronic disease by promoting healthy lifestyles. The Project’s overall goal is to help people eat well, move more, and live a healthier, happier life.

About the Healthy for Life Project: The Healthy for Life Project is working to make your community a healthier place to live, work, learn, and play. Our mission is to reduce and prevent obesity and chronic disease by promoting healthy lifestyles in our communities. For more information, visit www.healthyforlifeproject.org.

About the Norwalk Department of Health: Under the direction of the Mayor, and with valuable guidance from its six-member Board of Health, the Norwalk Health Department provides a variety of services and programs to fulfill its mission: to prevent and control the spread of disease, promote a healthy environment, and protect the quality of life within its changing community. The Health Department achieved accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) in June 2014, demonstrating that it meets or exceeds national public health standards and commits to continuously improve the quality of the services it delivers. More information is available at www.norwalkhealth.com.

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