WASHINGTON, D.C — California-based Healthy Dining and the National Restaurant Association have announced the launch of the expanded and redesigned HealthyDiningFinder.com Web site and online resource. New features on the site, which helps consumers find healthful menu items at 60,000 restaurant locations nationwide, include easier navigation, expanded nutrition information, enhanced functionality and new components, including a blog.
 
"As consumer interest in health and nutrition issues is increasing, the nation's nearly one million restaurants are responding by offering more healthful options than ever, and the new and improved HealthyDiningFinder.com Web site helps bring them together," said Dawn Sweeney, the association's president and CEO. "The site is a great tool for restaurants to highlight better-for-you options on their menus and provide the nutrition information their guests want in a convenient online format."
 
Enhanced aspects of the online resource include:
  • Customized Web pages for participating restaurants featuring dietitian-approved Healthy Dining options and corresponding nutrition information
  • Blog columns written by Healthy Dining's nutrition experts and guest writers
  • 'Nutrition 101' section offering consumers easy-to-understand healthy lifestyle guidelines
  • 'What's New' section to notify site visitors of new restaurants and resources available on the site
  • 'Spread the Word' section to provide information and resources to educate Americans about healthy restaurant dining and the HealthyDiningFinder site
  • Free e-newsletters providing consumers with recipes and nutrition-savvy dining out advice
  • Increased search-ability features
According to NRA research, health and nutrition are among the hottest trends in restaurants this year. In a recent survey of more than 1,600 professional chefs from the American Culinary Federation, nutrition/health as a culinary theme ranked No. 11 of hottest trends on restaurant menus in 2009. Underscoring the importance of healthful foods, produce and fruit items, smaller dishes, fish and gluten-free/allergy-conscious meals were all among the top-20 items in the survey.
In addition, the Association's research shows that three in four adults say they are trying to eat more healthfully in restaurants now than they did two years ago. And, nearly three in 10 adults (27 percent) have gone online to search for nutrition information about restaurant food, up from 24 percent just a year ago.
HealthyDiningFinder.com features dietitian-approved Healthy Dining menu items served at 60,000 restaurant locations, representing the industry's largest-ever nutrition initiative to help Americans identify healthier choices when dining out. Restaurants featured on the site range from quick-service to fine dining, including Panera Bread, Blimpie, Panda Express, Jack in the Box and scores of others.
 
The options are approved by registered dietitians and meet nutrition criteria based on the recommendations of leading health organizations. Detailed nutrition information (calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, protein, carbohydrates, fiber and fruit/vegetable servings) is provided for each qualifying menu item.
 
Members of the association or any state restaurant and hospitality association receive a 20 percent discount as a member benefit when signing up for the program.

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