Inaugural event, set for March 27 through April 1, will showcase delicious & nutritious options for families at restaurants across WNY
More than 20 local restaurants are participating in the first ever “Healthy Options” Restaurant Week, presented by the Independent Health Foundation, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and the Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals.
“Healthy Options” Restaurant Week will run from March 27 through April 1 and will close out National Nutrition Month, offering Western New Yorkers what a press release called “an opportunity to see how the restaurant experience can, in fact, be a healthy one through easily identifiable nutritious menu offerings.”
“The goal with ‘Healthy Options’ Restaurant Week is to create an enjoyable night out for families who want to try new local restaurants while maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” said Carrie Meyer, executive director of the Independent Health Foundation. “It’s going to be a great opportunity to try a healthy spin on your favorite appetizers, entrees and desserts, and we hope it will show people there’s no need to sacrifice flavor and fun when dining out.”
The menu items include dishes like zucchini alfredo, chicken souvlaki, and pesto grilled cheese, and have been analyzed by a registered dietitian from the Independent Health Foundation to meet “Healthy Options” standards for calories, fat, saturated fat and sodium.
“Research continues to show evidence of the impact of food and diet on health outcomes,” said Beth Machnica, director of health and well-being for the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. “Working with partners, like the Independent Health Foundation and Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals, creates access to nutritious food at a variety of places in our communities – including local restaurants.”
“Local restaurants positively impact our economy and provide spaces for us to develop community,” said Mark Overall, president of the Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals. “ ‘Healthy Options’ Restaurant Week provides diners a great opportunity to support restaurants committed to providing delicious and healthy meals while learning more about how to stay healthy themselves.”
In addition to offering “Healthy Options” menu items at participating restaurant locations, each restaurant will be offering samples at a free community event on March 30 at 6 p.m. at the Northland Workforce Training Center at 683 Northland Ave., Buffalo. The event will feature samples, recipes and live food demonstrations, along with health screenings and education.
“This event really highlights what ‘Healthy Options’ is all about,” Machnica said. “It empowers individuals and families to take control of their health in a fun, community-centric way. Our hope is that people leave with more information to make food choices to positively impact their overall health and well-being.”
Participants can also help increase the availability of healthy food throughout the community by donating to the “Healthy Options at Home” program, which provides families in need with access to fresh food. Donations can be made at each participating restaurant or online.
For more information on “Healthy Options” Restaurant Week, visit healthyoptionsbuffalo.com/restaurantweek.
Participating restaurants include (menu items subject to change):