Have you ever struggled to order healthful options when eating out? The Scioto County Health Coalition’s Better Plate Initiative has a plan.
In an effort to help the community become healthier, the SCHC is providing guidance at local restaurants for healthy eats based on USDA Guidelines and My Plate recommendations. Small logos will be placed next to items that meet the SCHS’s approval, as well as a decal in the window of each establishment that has had their menu evaluated.
The first restaurant to feature this initiative is the Market Street Café at 212 Market Street in Portsmouth. Located in the historic Boneyfiddle District, this quaint eatery provides a wide array of options from loaded salads to Paninis and wraps. On the day that I visited, I ordered the chicken taco salad, a base of mixed greens topped with corn chips, grilled chicken, kidney beans, tomatoes, ripe olives and cheddar cheese. Sour cream and ranch dressing are served on the side. This is a great example of a balanced meal. It has plenty of vegetables, protein with the grilled chicken and beans, sour cream and ranch served on the side making it easy to choose as little or as much one would like, and completed with a side of fresh fruit.
Market Street Café has many smarter choices, especially when making modifications like ordering your dressing on the side or doubling up on veggies. On the salads menu, entrees eaten with vinaigrettes are a good choice for someone looking to lower their saturated fat intake, as well as opting for grilled chicken instead of fried. Other great protein options include beans, tuna, and even hummus. Choosing the Mandarin Crunch salad will give visual interest to your plate as well as wonderful citrus flavor. The raspberry Romaine salad carries pops of color with Romaine, red onions, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, pecans and raspberry vinaigrette on the side. The assorted cheese and fruit plate also makes getting your 5-a-Day easy with strawberries, fresh pineapple, oranges, grapes with fruit dip on the side (or the fruit is so fresh and sweet you can easily skip some calories by leaving the fruit dip off entirely) accompanied with crisp vegetables like carrots, celery and cucumber. Colby cheese and crackers round off this colorful palette.
Market Street’s Paninis come with a multitude of options. The chicken mushroom melt provides a lean source of protein with an extra vegetable punch. Requesting the pesto mayo on the side and switching out the chips for fruit is a great choice. Or you even have the option to build your own Panini or wrap, so you can get exactly what you want. If you do not eat meat the veggie hummus wrap could be a good option, featuring peppers, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce served with your choice of red pepper or garlic hummus.
Considering your health when eating out doesn’t have to be so difficult, thanks to the Scioto County Health Coalition. Keep an eye out for the Better Plate Initiative at Market Street Café, with more restaurants to be added soon.
Malissa Sarver is a Registered Dietitian for KDMC Ohio.