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Ontario has cooked up new menu labelling laws.

By now you should (hopefully!) be familiar with the Healthy Menu Choices Act that has been in effect since January 1, 2017. As a reminder, the act requires food service chains with 20 or more locations to display calorie information on their menus.

With calorie counts front and centre for food and drinks, your customers will be more conscious of making healthy choices, and it’s important your menu caters to that. But how? Our resident chef, Chef Darryl Fletcher (better known as “Chef D”), notes that you can start by substituting high calorie ingredients for lower calorie options—without compromising on flavour.

Here are four delicious, healthy alternatives that you can use to help reduce the calorie counts on your menu:

  1. Substitute ricotta cheese for low fat cottage cheese. It’s high in protein, low in calories, and full of flavour. Use it as an alternative in lasagna, stuffed shells, and more.
  2. Substitute smooth cottage cheese for heavy cream. This works especially well in pasta sauces. If you’re set on using cream in something like a soup, try adding half a cup of 35% cream to add richness while keeping the fat content down.
  3. Substitute fat free sour cream for full fat. Or, use full fat but cut the measurements in half. For example if your muffin recipe calls for one cup of butter, try ½ cup of sour cream and ½ cup of butter (or oil) instead.
  4. Substitute butter for light whipped cream. Instead of serving pancakes and waffles with butter and maple syrup, top with light whipped cream and a few dark chocolate chips.

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