Schooled in Health

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An interview with one of the founders of Healthy Dining, Anita Jones-Mueller.

Twenty-one years ago a team of registered dietitians and communications professionals created Healthy Dining. The goal was to publish books that detailed restaurants with healthy meals in San Diego.

The organization grew quickly through Southern California and the project is now nationwide and available online for free at

And thanks to funding from the National Institutes of Health/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Small Business Innovative Research Program, Healthy Dining is rolling out the “Healthy Dining School Wellness Rewards Program,” designed to contribute to the health and wellbeing of America’s children and families.

The new “Wellness Rewards Program” will raise money, through Healthy Dining’s restaurant partners, to help schools fund much-needed playground and PE equipment, garden programs, nutrition education and other wellness initiatives.

Phase one of the project ran during March and April.

Anita Jones-Mueller, one of the founders of Healthy Dining, talks to Restaurant Management.

Who’s participating in the pilot program?

This program is being pilot tested in the San Diego area. We have selected five elementary schools, representing approximately 3,000 families and six Healthy Dining restaurants to participate in this pilot program. The restaurants include Outback Steakhouse, Elephant Bar, Souplantation, Zpizza, Bernard’O Restaurant and Sombrero Mexican Restaurant. 

How does the program work?

The pilot program provides each student at the five Poway schools with a School Wellness Rewards card. During the 60-day test period, school families could dine out any time at any of the participating restaurants and present the School Wellness Rewards card for a 10 percent discount off their total bill.


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