An independent café in Ely is celebrating becoming the newest member of a county-wide scheme encouraging restaurants and cafés to provide healthy option meals.
Lemon Tree Deli Café on Market Place is the latest member to join the Healthier Options award scheme, which encourages local food outlets to pledge small changes to the way they prepare and deliver food to increase food and drink choices for consumers and emphasise the benefits of healthy eating.
Public Health at Cambridgeshire County Council lead the free scheme and it is delivered by Environmental Health at East Cambridgeshire District Council.
Val Thomas, Consultant in Public Health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “It is brilliant to see another business in the district has received our Healthier Options award.
“They join a range of eateries including Fieldside Café in Littleport along with The Copper Cup and The Swan on the River in Ely.
“We’re excited to see more establishments make the change and join us in providing healthier options in Cambridgeshire.”
Healthier Options works with local food outlets to include and promote healthier ingredients and dishes. These are prepared using healthier techniques during cooking.
The Lemon Tree Deli Café now boasts homemade vegan and vegetarian soups with no added sugar or salt and well as vegan ice-cream shakes on their menu.
Owner of Lemon Tree Deli Café, Debbie Kidd, said: “We are very pleased to be enrolled on the Healthier Options membership and we are committed to providing a healthy balanced offering for our guests.
“Over the last few months we have been gradually introducing healthier options onto our current menu by reducing the amount of crisps and extending the amount of salad.
“We have also greatly reduced the amount of sugary drinks available and introduced a wider range of sugar free drinks.”
As a Healthier Options member they will be listed on the members page of the Healthier Options website as well as receive a certificate to display on their premises.
Councillor Carol Sennitt, who is an Environmental Health service delivery champion at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “The Healthier Options scheme is something all local food outlets should get involved with across the county and I would implore more to get in touch and become accredited.
“There is an increasing number of people who eat meals outside of home which are higher in sugar, fat, salt and calories and this can contribute to rising levels of obesity.
“It is therefore incredibly important to provide healthier choices on menus at food outlets.”
If local food outlets have a food hygiene rating of three or above, free support is offered to become a member of the scheme.
For more information visit the Healthier Options website www.healthier-options.org.uk or follow Healthier Options on Twitter @Healthier_Cambs.