Healthy choices honored at Midway Airport

Mac One, Chicago Midway Airport’s Restaurant Group has earned certification for 10 of its restaurants by F.I.T. City/Chicago a restaurant-focused public health initiative undertaken by its sponsor, "Building a Healthier Chicago."

More than 150 local and national organizations make up the group. Its goal is to improve the health of Chicago residents by promoting nutrition, physical activity and chronic disease prevention. Member organizations include American Association of Retired Persons, the American Medical Association, Midwest Business Group on Health and the Institute of Medicine of Chicago.

The founding chairman of "Building a Healthier Chicago,” Dr. James M. Galloway, made the announcement this week at a celebratory luncheon held at the airport.  Dr. Galloway is former Assistant U.S. Surgeon, Rear Admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service and Regional Health Administrator for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"With so many adults and children consuming their daily meals away from home, restaurants here and across the nation are really the cornerstones for improving the public health status by incorporating more nutritious menu offerings," said Galloway. He cited recent studies that reported American adults dine away from home 4.8 times weekly, accounting for more than half of the average family's food budget.

Premier Restaurant Group restaurants at Midway have also received a second certification from an organization promoting healthier restaurant menu offerings specifically for children, "Healthy Fare for Kids."

The restaurants at Midway International Airport include Harry Caray's, Manny's Deli, Tuscany, Let Them Eat Cake, Taylor Street Market and Oak Street Beach Café. The revamped restaurant menus are now in use.

Restaurants can seek F.I.T. City certification by offering two menu choices, other than salad, whose primary ingredients are fresh fruits and vegetables, and two menu items that primarily feature whole grains.

Restaurants are also required to use plant-based cooking oils and no artificial trans fats. In addition, they are urged to support local sustainable agriculture through the purchase of fresh produce, meat and seafood from local suppliers.