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News: Centegra cafes offer new ways to make healthy food choices

Centegra Health System’s cafes now offer Wellness Selections to guide hungry visitors to the right foods. To help hospital guests, physicians and associates make better meal choices, color-coded serving utensils provide nutritional hints about the foods that are being served at Centegra Hospital-McHenry, Centegra Hospital-Woodstock and Centegra Specialty Hospital-Woodstock.

“Our guests appreciate our new menu not only because the food is delicious but also because each food station lists the nutritional analysis of the menu items,”  said Julie Holbrook, a registered dietitian with Centegra Health System. “Being mindful of the nutritional information is a wonderful way for our guests, physicians and Associates to balance their meals.” 

In addition to the nutritional information there are also new serving utensils that are color coded as green, yellow and red to serve as a reminder of a concept called “Go, Slow and Whoa.”  “Go”  foods are the healthiest, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Dietitians encourage everyone to eat those liberally. “Slow”  foods are those that are “sometimes”  foods. They are acceptable when portion sizes are controlled, such as waffles or pancakes. “Whoa”  foods are those that are the least healthy. They should be consumed in moderation. These include desserts or high-fat salad dressings.

Other additions to the cafes include new signage and educational materials about health and wellness.”We want our guests to leave our cafes feeling nourished and to maybe even feel like they’ve learned something new about health, nutrition and wellness,”  Holbrook said. “We welcome visitors to take the information that is provided so they can read it at home or share it with their families.” 