Meriter’s Healthier Food Challenge

Earth Day is April 22; each year at this time, we often consider ways that we can live more sustainably. At Meriter, our commitment to Live Forward is one that we promise to our patients, our community and our employees.

In 2012, Meriter enrolled in Healthier Hospital’s Initiative Healthier Food Challenge, specifically the Healthy Beverage Challenge. Our goal is to increase the percentage of healthy beverage purchases by 20 percent annually, as well as promote tap water over bottled water where possible. The Challenge’s objective to promote healthfulness by increasing access to healthier, more sustainable food choices is taking off.

This month, Meriter introduced “Go Slow Whoa” a food and beverage labeling system to help patients, visitors and employees guide their nutrition choices in the hospital cafeteria. And you can use it at home!

Green = Go: Eat At Every Meal
Low saturated fat    Less than 500 calories
Low sodium        Nutrient dense

Foods in this category are healthy options and should be
consumed at all meals! Green or “Go” foods include fruit,
vegetables, whole grains, beans, baked fish and chicken,
low-fat and fat-free dairy, nuts and seeds, and baked
potatoes or sweet potatoes. Beverages in this category
include water, seltzer water, low and non-fat milk, caffeine-free teas and low-sodium V8 juice. These beverages should take-up the majority (or all) of your fluid for the day.

Yellow = Slow: Eat in Moderation
Low saturated fat    Less than 500 calories
Moderate sodium    Some nutritional benefit

Foods in the Yellow or “Slow” category should be consumed in moderation or a couple times per week at the most. Examples include mashed potatoes, lean red meat, low fat soups, higher fat poultry entrees and higher fat dairy. Beverages in this category include diet beverages, low­ calorie/low-sugar drinks and 100% juices.

Red = Whoa: Eat Least Often
High saturated fat     More than 500 calories
Likely high sodium     No nutritional benefit

Foods in the Red or “Whoa” category should be consumed about once every couple weeks at the most (if at all). Because there is very little nutritional benefit to these foods and beverages, our bodies can live without them. Foods in this category include high fat red meat, fried foods, high fat cheese and dairy, high fat and high sodium soups, white bread, pastries, desserts, ice cream and chips. Beverages in the Red category include regular soda, energy or sports drinks and juices without 100% juice.

View the complete food chart.

In addition to “Go Slow Whoa” in the cafeteria, our Greenbush Garden Bistro features locally sourced organic foods.

Live healthy. Live confidently. Live responsibly. Live forward.

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