Ford Field’s usual beer and hotdog fare will have company this year as it adds 65 healthy choice options thanks to a partnership with St. Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS). Called the “Healthy Choice program” the new options will be available at all Lions’ home games, other sport events, and any other entertainment held at Ford Field.
“We are so pleased that the Detroit Lions are joining in our effort to expand wellness options in the communities we serve,” said Rob Casalou, regional president and CEO, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. “As one of the major health systems in southeast Michigan, we want to help our community stay well by encouraging fitness and eating great, fresh food no matter where they are.”
The Lions will join fellow Detroit sports icons the Red Wings, which have partnered with the Healthy Choice program since December 2014. These sports partnerships go hand-and-hand with a three-year commitment as the nutrition sponsor of the Friends of Eastern Market program.
Here’s what makes these foods unique. They are lower in sodium, saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol and are dense in nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Those who want a healthier option can simply look for the SJMHS logo at the concession stands or suite menu.
“The Lions fuel up each day with energy-boosting, nutritious and flavorful foods, and it makes sense to provide similar healthy options to fans attending games at Ford Field,” said Lisa McDowell, a board certified specialist in sports dietetics as well as director of clinical nutrition with Saint Joseph Mercy Health System.
Those in the club suites can look forward to the options of free-range rosemary garlic chicken with roasted potatoes; high-protein vegetarian salad with mixed greens, kale, tofu, and chickpeas; a “ZLT” flatbread sandwich with zucchini, romaine lettuce and vine-ripened tomatoes; salmon sliders with cucumber dill sauce, and spicy turkey chili with roasted tomatillo and white beans.
For the kids there will be grilled chicken tenders with honey-mustard dipping sauce and a turkey and cheddar sandwich on whole wheat bread. If that isn’t enough each meal the youngsters get will also have fresh fruit, carrot, celery sticks and a granola bar.
“Health and wellness is a pillar of the Detroit Lions not only in our community programming, but throughout the entire organization,” said Detroit Lions Senior Vice President of Marketing & Partnerships Elizabeth Parkinson. “A partnership with Saint Joseph Mercy Health System to easily identify the healthiest options in stadium to our guests is both a logical choice and a point of pride for us.”
McDowell worked closely with the Detroit Lions Executive Chef Joe Nader to review all suite and concession items.
This is not the only partnership between the Lions and SJMHS. There are more initiatives are coming, including the Taste of the Lions fundraiser, which benefits Eastern Market.