Check out what I learned from my recent trip to Nestlé USA’s facilities in Solon, Ohio including their Balance the Plate initiative as well as how they are improving the nutrition in several of their products.
As you may know, dietitian bloggers like myself love to get together at conferences, expos and basically any excuse we have to network, collaborate and become more educated to help our readers and clients. Thankfully I was invited to attend Nestlé USA’s Balance Your Plate event to explore their development center and culinary center as well as learn more about social media promotion. This event took place last month and although it was only a day and a half long I learned a ton about the company itself, as well as how they are focused on bringing better nutrition to their products.
Nestlé USA Products
Our event focused on frozen and refrigerated products and how they have changed. Although “convenience foods” typically have a bad rap nutritionally, there is a place for everything in one’s diet which can easily be made more nutritious by Balancing Your Plate.
Traditionally we think of frozen foods to be overly processed and unhealthy. Nestlé has worked hard to not only keep the same great taste of their products, but make them more nutritious. For example, Nestlé employees have been working hard to drastically reduce the sodium and saturated fat in their frozen and refrigerated products. Although many are still considered higher sodium, they can easily fit into a balanced diet, especially when paying attention to proper portion sizes. They also have greatly reduced the number of ingredients in their products and have made the labels more “clean.” Although I am not one who worries about the specific ingredient list in products, I am well aware that it matters to many consumers, which is why Nestlé is making these changes.
Something that many consumers don’t realize is how much detail is required on food labels. This example was given by Nestlé to show what a recipe looks like that you would use in a home kitchen.
The ingredient list below is the same lasagna recipe but shows what is required on a packaged lasagna label mandated by the government.
One of the many impressive aspects of this company is the number of dietitians they employ. Dietitians work hand in hand with the marketing department as well as the several chefs working on various products. Honestly, if I lived closer I would LOVE to be working as dietitian for Nestlé.
We also enjoyed several delicious meals while we attended this conference including this one below showing how to have a balanced meal while including convenient frozen foods.
We also participated in an early morning with a 6:00 am boot camp class at my favorite gym, Life Time Fitness. I am NOT one for early morning workouts but the camaraderie and smoothie at the end made it worth it.
And this departing gift was well worth it too. A Turkish Nestlé product that can be found in the United States.
Here are a few more Nestlé products, some I had no idea that they made! I’d love to hear what are your favorite Nestlé products? My number one of course is Toll House Morsels.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated to write this post, however travel and lodging was provided by Nestlé. And as always, all the opinions and thoughts expressed are my own.
This My Nestlé Trip: Balance Your Plate post first appeared on Chocolate Slopes.