Eat fit: Healthy diet program coming to parish

Published 3:42 am Saturday, January 7, 2017

Special to the Daily News

A group of advocates for healthier living are working to bring healthier items to area restaurants.

The Bogalusa Heart Study and Our Lady of the Angels Hospital are partnering with the nonprofit initiative Ochsner Eat Fit to bring nutritious and delicious food to Washington Parish through the program “Eat Fit WP,” which is designed to provide restaurant dishes that are both nutritious and delicious.

The program is currently seeking restaurants and food providers willing to partner with the free program.

The Eat Fit team would love for any and all restaurants, markets and food service establishments to be a part of this expansion. Providers can expect Eat Fit WP team-members to work with them to determine what items might fit into the criteria as-is or with a few small modifications. Then, the team completes nutritional analysis for potential Eat Fit recipes to see what fits (all recipes are kept confidential).

Participating restaurants identify the Eat Fit items on the menu with a special seal along with a short description on the menu explaining the designation. Restaurants also help to spread the word when possible via website, social media or community events.

In return, the Eat Fit WP partners will be promoted on the program’s website, via social media (Facebook and Instagram), as well as community events and cooking demos. Eat Fit also supports a smartphone app to assist the community in easy ways to locate nearby Eat Fit approved restaurants in their area.

Washington Parish restaurants that offer three Eat Fit menu items also have the opportunity to be designated as a WellSpot through the Well-Ahead Louisiana initiative.

The tentative launch date for the Eat Fit WP program is sometime in March and this week the program’s officials met with city leaders to brainstorm ways to bring the entire community on board.

Well-Ahead Louisiana is a Louisiana Department of Health initiative that recognizes spaces and places that make it easier for Louisiana residents to live well. Restaurant WellSpots move Louisiana health forward by achieving additional wellness benchmarks like becoming smoke-free, training staff to offer healthy menu options, or being ServSafe certified. When restaurants participate in healthy initiatives like EatFit and Well-Ahead Louisiana, the healthy choice becomes the easy choice in Washington Parish.

Launched in 2013, Eat Fit now has more than 80 restaurant partners in the greater New Orleans area including some of the city’s most famous establishments and even places like the Mercedes Benz Superdome, Audubon Zoo, Whole Foods Market and Louis Armstrong International Airport. Eat Fit WP is an extension of the Ochsner Eat Fit program, which started with Eat Fit NOLA, and has expanded to Eat Fit Bayou, Eat Fit Northshore, Eat Fit BR and is now throughout Washington Parish.

The Bogalusa Heart Study has been supporting Washington Parish since 1972 in discovering whether childhood risk factors such as blood pressure or cholesterol affect adult heart diseases, high blood pressure and diabetes. Because of the ongoing support of the community, researchers from all over the world are helping predict the causes of heart disease throughout childhood and adulthood.

For more information, a full list of partners, and more details about Eat Fit WP, visit online at To participate in Eat Fit WP, email or call Julie Nieto, RD, Eat Fit Operations and Marketing Specialist, at 985-630-2138.