Healthy choices at Disneyland

I'm a big believer in personal responsibility, so you're not going to find me vilifying fast food companies like McDonald's or soda companies like Coca-Cola for making the products that they do.  I truly believe it is possible to incorporate these foods into your diet, as long as you keep in mind that it's an indulgence (and by indulgence, I mean occasional, not every other day) and watch your portions when you do indulge.

That said, I always appreciate it when big companies acknowledge the huge influence their food and their marketing practices have on the average consumer, and work to inform and educate the consumer, as well as provide healthier options.

That's exactly what I saw on our latest trip to the Disneyland Resort.  They have had healthier food options for some years now, but this time around, I saw healthy foods in more places than ever:

* Tiki Juice Bar, in Adventureland
* Tropical Imports Fruit Stand, in Adventureland
* Fruit stand on Main Street
* Fruit stand in Critter Country
* Fruit stand in Mickey's Toontown
* Fruit stand in Tomorrowland

Disney's California Adventure
* Floyd's Taste-In at Cars Land
* Fairfax Market at the Hollywood Pictures Backlot
* Schmoozies at the Hollywood Pictures Backlot

Moreover, I'm not just talking about a perfunctory serving of apple slices and caramel. I saw:

Pineapple spears and grapes

Mangoes and strawberries (with chocolate, to be sure, but hey, a girl has got to indulge)

Hummus, watermelon, and apples with caramel

 Mixed berries and veggie sticks with ranch dip

I'm all for letting my kids have a hotdog and hamburger, but when you're on a 3 or 4-day Disneyland vacation, having these options is such a relief!

Soon, it will be easier than ever to identify healthy foods at the Disneyland parks.  Just last month, Disney announced that they would be marking nutritious food offerings with a Mickey Check icon.  This includes food offerings in stores and online (i.e. on licensed products), and at restaurants and kiosks in the parks.  I think they might be rolling it out in late 2012, so don't forget to keep a look out.  It's all part of a large-scale health initiative that includes pulling their character licensing for Happy Meals and banning ads for junk food on Disney tv channels and shows (starting in 2015).    True, there are still way more carts for churros and turkey legs than carrots and apples, but it's a step in the right direction.  Way to go, Disney!

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1 comment:

Asianmommy said...

Very nice! I noticed that at Disney, too. They offered grapes or carrots with the kids' meals instead of the usual fries, which we appreciated greatly!