Nutrition Analysis at Shawano Restaurant Helps Partons "eatSmart!"

Angies Main Cafe
(Angie  Bistoff and Carey Grieves at Angie's Main Cafe in Shawano.)

Angie’s Café is First to Highlight Menu Items, More Restaurants Soughtt

Angie's Main Cafe/Daily Grind at  130 S. Main Street in Shawano is the city’s first locally owned restaurant to participate in eatsmart!, a community-wide initiative highlighting menu items that get a mark of approval from local health professionals.

A coalition of health agencies and county health departments came together in 2011 to develop eatsmart! The program provides free recipe analysis and advice to local restaurateurs. The goal was to make it easier for people who want to eat healthily to have those menu choices identified and available in restaurant settings. The founding coalition was made up of ThedaCare, Aurora, and Affinity health systems and the health departments from Calumet, Outagamie, and Winnebago Counties. Restaurants volunteer to participate.

Angie Bistoff, proprietor of Angie'’s Main Cafe/Daily Grind in Shawano, caught the eye of Carey Grieves, a health coach with ThedaCare at Shawano Medical Center. “She already had so many things in place,” Grieves said. “Angie emphasizes making things from scratch, and she composts. But then I sampled her hand-made veggie burger, and it was amazing.”

Bistoff made the decision to participate in eatsmart! because it matched her values. “I have always been all about health and wellness, for our bodies and our earth. I care about my customers as people.”

Nutrition professionals meet with restaurateurs and analyze menu items with specialized software. All recipes are kept confidential. Registered dietitians make recommendations about changing ingredients, cooking methods or portion sizes to improve the healthfulness of a recipe.

Green choices, marked with a green thumbs-up icon on the menu, are primarily prepared from whole foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein). Herbs, spices, and natural flavoring are used to accentuate the food’s natural flavors. The yellow icon represents choices that meet slightly more relaxed nutrition criterion.

Grieves said the café’s menu was already well-designed for healthy eating. “Making things from whole foods is an easier way to satisfy the requirements of eatsmart! It’s difficult to meet the sodium metrics for our green or yellow thumbs-up rating because foods like pre-seasoned chicken breast strips can be loaded with sodium.”

“It’s difficult for an independent business to tackle something like this, “Grieves added. “We believe in providing healthy choices to restaurant patrons and supporting local restaurant owners. In the end, they can provide information about the foods they serve that many of their customers want and use.”

The Shawano area eatsmart! program is seeking more participants. Local restaurants interested in joining the program should contact Carey Grieves at (715) 526-8455 or carey.grieves@thedacare.org.

ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of five hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, ThedaCare At Work, and ThedaCare at Home. ThedaCare is the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.