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Eat Right. Follow the Rays of Light

As the old phrase goes, “you are what you eat.” So, when it comes to making healthy choices easier, a little help never hurts—introducing Northern Light Health’s new food rating system, real.easy.good! The new program was developed by a group of registered dietitian nutritionists who represent all Northern Light Health member organizations, in collaboration with Northern Light Health Community Health and Grants.

“The primary goal was to create a healthy hospital food initiative that would inform consumers of healthier meal and snack options in our facilities,” explains Nicole King, CDM, CFPP, MPH, Food Services program manager. “This initiative allows Northern Light Health to replace Hannaford’s Guiding Stars program with one customized to fit our needs and use with our own recipes.”

REG-Symbol-Grid.jpgThe real.easy.good sunshine label allows customers to quickly recognize healthier options. The thicker the rays of sunshine, the more of the criteria the dish meets! All member organizations, with Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center joining in January of 2020, have started using the program on their prepared foods and will begin including sunshine label stickers on food items in coolers and pre-packaged items.

The program focuses on identification of healthy food options that will increase fiber intake while limiting excess fats, calories, and sodium. Real.easy.good criteria are based on the dietary guidelines for Americans—specific criteria can be found throughout the various member caf├ęs.

“We hope this new program will be beneficial to employees and visitors. The key is not taking away choices but trying to make healthier choices the easiest,” adds Nicole.   

For more information about real.easy.good, visit http://intranet2.emhs.org/m/p/Food/real-easy-good