At Bon Appétit, we take a macro view of wellness, believing that our guests’ well-being depends on not just a few healthy menu choices, but ones that also contribute to a healthy environment and community. Some of our guests are extremely well-informed about what dietary choices work best for them. Others need our help navigating the many options available to them daily in our cafés. We aim to meet our guests where they are and give them the information they seek.
In addition to following our kitchen principles, our chefs and their teams pay close attention to cooking in natural, healthful ways. We create meals centered on abundant fresh produce, whole grains, and lean and plant-based proteins, prepared with minimal amounts of healthy, plant-derived fats.
We focus especially on these areas:
Healthier daily choices: It’s not hard to find a healthy choice in our café. Portions are reasonable and follow the USDA’s U.S. Dietary Guidelines and Myplate. At least one In Balance entrée is served at lunch and dinner and a deep-color vegetable is served daily at full-service stations. These are prepared using healthy cooking techniques (e.g. steamed, roasted, braised, grilled) and seasoned with minimal fat and salt. Fresh, seasonal fruits are always an option.
Complex carbohydrate as a standard offering: Whole grains or legumes, prepared using healthy cooking techniques, are offered throughout the café at every meal. Each time you see white pasta, rice or bread, you will also see a whole-grain alternative.
Reduced added sugars: Guests always have options for low-sugar cereal, all fruit jam and unsweetened beverages. Baked goods and desserts are available in small portions to satisfy your sweet tooth without overindulgence.
Healthy fats in moderation: Our chefs are trained to use fats in moderation and emphasize the healthier versions. Cooking oils are plant-based and low-fat dairy, condiments, and salad dressings are always available. Trans fats are not allowed in our kitchens.
Encouraging lean protein and plant-based proteins: Lean proteins such as fish and skinless poultry along with tofu, beans, and other meat substitutes prepared in unique and delicious ways are available at all meals.
Reduced sodium: Our chefs are trained in food preparation techniques that maximize flavor without the use of unnecessary added sodium. Our stocks for soups and sauces are always house-made without the use of added salt, and we never use MSG.
Professional nutrition support: General managers and chefs are certified in Bon Appétit’s nutrition training program and receive ongoing education in healthy cooking principles that deliver terrific flavor and nutrition. In addition, each café has a nutrition ambassador supported by a Registered Dietitian.
We developed the In Balance program to make it easier for the latter group to identify balanced choices when eating in our cafés. By learning the principles of a balanced plate, they can also make these choices at home. Meals labeled with an In Balance icon contain a well-proportioned mix of whole grains, fresh fruits and/or vegetables, and lean proteins, prepared with a minimal amount of healthy fat.