'Smart Bites' movement makes its way to Mid-Michigan - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

'Smart Bites' movement makes its way to Mid-Michigan

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(02/12/14) - It's the latest initiative from the Genesee County Health Coalition's Commit to Fit Campaign - Smart Bites launched this week at schools and restaurants around Mid-Michigan.

"We're really just trying to encourage people to eat healthier when they eat out. We know that eating out is popular, it's what people do, it's fast, it's easy, but a lot of times it's hard to know what the healthy options are when you go out," said Allison Rariden, Smart Bites Project co-manager.

Smart Bites aims to provide those health conscious answers. Participation is free for both kids and restaurants.

"Students can go online and sign up and we'll send them a card. They just go to restaurants with their card, get stickers for choosing healthy options," Rariden said.

Once those Smart Bites cards are filled with stickers, diners become eligible for a variety of rewards.

"We're giving out monthly prizes through schools. We're giving out cash, gift cards and a lot of Commit to Fit swag," said Amanda DeLandsheer, Smart Bites Project co-manager.

The Grand Blanc Big Boy is one of a dozen restaurants on board for the launch of Smart Bites, and all of these restaurants are offering special healthy menus, with deep, deep discounts.

"We've got over 20 of our healthiest menu items and we're giving a 15 percent discount on them. Soups, salads, all kinds of choices, and we're excited to be a part of it," said Chip Wells, Big Boy general manager.

Commit to Fit is actively looking for more restaurants and schools to sign up and commit to healthier menus and eating habits.

"We are initially starting in four schools, all middle schools, Grand Blanc East and West, Carman-Ainsworth Middle School and Carter Middle School in Clio," Rariden said.

The goal is to see Smart Bites inspire a state-wide healthy eating revolution.

"Start with Genesee County and get as many people involved as we can, and hopefully it will move out from there to other cities, counties, and across the whole state of Michigan," Rariden said.

For more information on Smart Bites, click HERE.

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