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Health and Nutrition

RAMW believes that restaurants play a large role in healthful choices and increased quality of life for residents of and visitors to the Washington DC Metropolitan Area. According to the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot in 2013 Survey” healthy kids meals and nutrition will help lead menu trends in 2013. Several RAMW members are active participants in the NRA’s Kids LiveWell Program.

Recently, new laws have been introduced at the state and national level, including sugary drink bans and menu labeling practices, which reinforce this trend but which RAMW believes creates unnecessary burdens on restaurant operators.

Are Restaurants Responsible for the Health of Their Diners?

May 28, 2014
By Claire Willis, Director of Culinary Nutritionists at MenuTrinfo® Recently, the RAND Corporation (“a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision making through research and analysis,” according to their website) has proposed implementing healthy dining standards for restaurants. This would require foodservice establishments to have a percentage of their menu items (on both adult and kids menus) meet certain nutritional criteria. Their reasoning behind this would be to help curb the obesity epidemic in the US by having healthy options at each and every...

Creating Healthy Kids Meals

March 4, 2014
Creating Healthy Kids Meals By Claire Willis (Director of Culinary Nutritionists at MenuTrinfo ® ) The National Restaurant Association has posted their predictions for the top dining trends of 2014. In the top five is “Healthier Kids Meals.” This may seem simple enough: take away the mac and cheese and fried chicken nuggets, replace it with a plate of veggies and whole grains. But regardless of how nutritious a dish is, it’s wasted if the child won’t eat it. You’ll find much more success if you don’t take away all of their old favorites, but rather add...

A Heart Healthy Focus: February is American Heart Month

February 28, 2014
She's out there - the woman who has stolen your heart and makes your life better just because she's in it. It may be your mom, your sister, your wife or your girlfriend. It could be your daughter, your aunt, or your best friend. And this woman you love has an enemy more deadly than all forms of cancer. This woman you love is in a battle against heart disease and she may not even know it. Although long thought of as primarily a threat to men, according to the American Heart Association , heart disease is now the number one killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year.

Mandatory in Maryland: Food Allergy Awareness

February 14, 2014
By Betsy Craig (CEO and founder of MenuTrinfo® ) A senate bill was passed on January 23rd, 2014 in Maryland that mandates all commercial kitchens to have allergy awareness training . Beginning March 1st, 2015 , it will be mandatory for food establishments in Maryland to have one employee on the premises at all times who have completed a food allergen awareness training course and passes an accredited test approved by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Of those individuals who have gone through training, one employee must be available to discuss meal options with customers who...

Server Point of View on Gluten-Free and Allergen Training

January 24, 2014
This is a guest post for MenuTrinfo ® by Alison Baumgartner, a former waitress. For a long time, I was a career waitress who worked pretty much everywhere in the United States. I worked for high-end, local, and chain restaurants, and while they were all very different, I found that they had one similarity: inefficiency when it came to knowing exactly what was in the food. And by that, I mean there was too little nutritional labeling, no awareness of potentially allergenic ingredients and no information on what foods that contain gluten for all levels of the staff. In the end, it was very...

50 Local Chefs, 14,000 Students Come Together for Growing Healthy Schools Week

October 26, 2013
RAMW chefs partnered with Growing Healthy Schools Week , an annual celebration of local food, school gardens, and food education October 20-26, 2013. This year, 52 DC schools and 14,000 students participated in the week’s activities. There were 50 chef demos, a dozen farmer visits, and on October 24th at 10AM, 11,000 students city-wide took part in Capital Crunch by simultaneously biting into local apples (courtesy of Whole Foods Market). It was a fantastic week! For pictures from the week, visit the Growing Healthy Schools Week Flicker photos albums: Growing Healthy Schools Week kick-...

National Restaurant Association Says Healthy Is In

September 2, 2013
All trends point to a steadily growing customer demand for healthy adult and children’s menu items and to operators’ enthusiastic response. Healthy is in National Restaurant Association studies confirm that today’s restaurant guests clearly want more healthy menu options and more information at hand to help them make their choices. From knowing an item’s calorie count to finding more fresh produce on the menu, customers say they appreciate restaurants’ response and are more likely to frequent those restaurants that offer what they want. 71 percent of adults are...

Nutritional value: How do you combine healthy living with ready-to-eat meals? Three entrepreneurs share their stories.

May 13, 2013
Rebecca Cooper , Washington Business Journal MOMME MEALS It’s green goddess soup time in the momme meals kitchen, which means owner Kristen Bocanegra is cleaning and chopping kale. Lots and lots of kale. Stopping every few minutes to assign a new task to the kitchen staff, the petite, energetic blonde checks and double-checks her recipe spreadsheets, critiques the thickness of carrot slices and speed walks back and forth to grab more prep trays for the kale. That is Bocanegra on a calm day. Momme meals, which sells frozen natural and organic meals with a nutrition profile ideal for new...

NYT: Even the A Students Sometimes Break Health Rules

February 29, 2012
The New York Times Even the A Students Sometimes Break Health Rules February 28 2012 By GLENN COLLINS FOR Sushi Yasuda ,the exalted Midtown shrine to the pristine purity of raw sliced fish, posting anything less than the top grade of A from the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene would seem like a skull and crossbones in the window. But every time they pick up a knife, the restaurant’s chefs ignore the health code and risk seven inspection points — halfway to a B grade — bypreparing food the way they believe it must be. They make sushi bare-handed (washing their...Read more

Health Inspection Grade Posting

February 1, 2011
RAMW Opposes Health Inspection Grade Posting Legislation Washington, DC (January 21, 2011) - Legislation was introduced in the Council of the District ofColumbia which would revamp the current health inspection regulations forrestaurants in Washington, DC. RAMW is opposed to this legislation – as we werewhen a version was introduced in 2009; that bill died in committee, as this oneshould. This legislation mandates a simplistic letter grading systemwith the grade posted in the restaurant’s front window. The process of healthinspections is a one-day snapshot that may or may not...Read more