Eating well is a lifelong skill. In an increasingly fast-paced world with seemingly endless information, sometimes it can be tricky to navigate all of our choices and understand what’s best for our nutrition.
We eat to provide the fuel necessary for our bodies, but food is much more than that. With proper nutrition, we may experience other potential benefits such as improved attention and focus, fewer sick days, and improved cognitive and athletic performance.
SAGE wants all of these benefits for everyone we serve, so we designed The SAGE Spotlight Program® to guide guests in making informed decisions and building plates that work for them.
This program supports our food philosophy — All Foods Fit. Everything has a place when you practice variety, balance, and moderation. Research shows that this type of straightforward nutritional guidance helps promote a lifelong positive relationship with food.
Look for the Spotlight Program poster (below) in all dining halls.
Here’s how it works:
- Our Registered Dietitians have color coded every menu item with a corresponding Spotlight. You’ll see the Spotlight next to each item on the online menu, the Touch of SAGE™Mobile App, and next to each item on the serving line.
- The Spotlight colors assigned to each item are based on that food’s overall nutrient density according to the latest USDA dietary guidelines, which encourage evaluating food as a whole. We use an equation that considers the quantity of nutrients that are recommended we eat more of, and those that are recommended we limit. Our formula evaluates foods based on the amount of calcium, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin D, iron, saturated fat, added sugar, and sodium provided. The resulting score demonstrates the relative nutrient density of a food.
- Green Spotlight foods are the most nutrient-dense. Eat a variety of these foods.
- Yellow Spotlight foods are moderately nutrient-dense. Strike a balance with these foods.
- Red Spotlight foods are identified as the least-nutrient dense options on our menus, but still provide valuable nutrients. Enjoy these foods in moderation.
Guests build their plates based on their personal and dietary preferences.
With The SAGE Spotlight Program® in place, you have peace of mind knowing Registered Dietitians have analyzed every recipe and reviewed every menu for nutritional accuracy and balance. Check out your community’s menu, take a look at the Spotlights, and have a conversation with your student to help guide their food choices based on the values you’ve set at home. Take a few minutes to watch this video that explains the program in detail.