It’s not easy for busy Canadians to maintain a healthy diet with their long work hours and lack of time to cook or prepare meals at home. More and more Canadians are looking for quick and healthy dining options, and are relying on the restaurant industry to provide some guidance. According to recent research conducted on behalf of Restaurants Canada, 92 per cent of Canadians feel it is important to know the nutrition breakdown of the foods they eat.¹
Your lunch customers are may be in the midst of a stressful project, and looking for an energy-boosting lunch to help them overcome the afternoon lull or be more productive. Here are some simple tips the foodservice industry can keep in mind when creating next season’s new menu.
- • Nothing beats water: Water helps the body function normally. Dehydration causes fatigue, affects concentration and leads to overeating because the brain misinterprets thirst as hunger. Consider providing flavoured water infusers for customers in case they get bored with just plain water. Or, add some cucumber slices and berries to the water for some natural flavour.
- • Add whole grain snacks or desserts to the menu: Bars made with high-fibre whole grains, such as amaranth, quinoa, oats, millet and buckwheat, can be a delicious and healthy snack or dessert option. Popcorn is also a healthy whole-grain snack option and you can be as creative as you want with the flavours. Try our Japanese-style peanut popcorn, deliciously flavoured with a hint of wasabi.
- • Go nuts: Nuts are full of healthy fats, protein and fibre, and help you feel fuller for longer. When it comes to nutrition, the peanut leads the pack. Peanuts have more protein than any other nut. A serving of dry roasted unsalted peanuts (1/4 cup or 60 mL) is an excellent source of magnesium, niacin and vitamin E, a good source of folate, as well as a source of fibre, iron, thiamine, vitamin B6, zinc, selenium, and phosphorus. Peanuts are low in cost and high in value, making it ideal as a nutritious ingredient for restaurant menus. Remember to ask your supplier for Quality USA peanuts, which have a longer shelf life and fuller flavour profile compared to peanuts from other countries.
¹Nutrition information at restaurants: Consumers prefer Informed Dining program over menu-board labels, http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1398360/nutrition-information-at-restaurants-consumers-prefer-informed-dining-program-over-menu-board-labels, August 14, 2014