Don’t Drop While You Shop – Five Healthy Tips for Navigating The Food Court This Holiday Season

Holiday shopping is not for the faint of heart, particularly when it involves navigating overcrowded shopping malls.  Keeping one’s cool is more than simply mind-over-matter – it requires the right food for endless energy.


Just in time for holiday shopping hours, on December 8, Richtree Natural Market is re-launching its Square One restaurant with a sleek modern look in a new location, a revamped menu and a renewed commitment to buying local produce,  natural, antibiotic and hormone free meats, so that guests can enjoy healthier, fresher and better tasting menu options.

“We’re committed to providing shoppers great tasting food that will keep them happy and properly fueled,” said Andre Walker, newly hired corporate chef for Richtree Natural Market Restaurants. “Consumers are becoming increasingly selective about the food they eat, which aligns with our passion for offering freshly prepared, great tasting food that’s good for you.”

To help celebrate its new Mississauga Square One location, Richtree Natural Market Restaurants has teamed up with registered dietician Abbey Sharp to offer tips for navigating food court options available in leading shopping malls.  Sharp shows us how paying attention to what you eat means you can still power shop without the dreaded drop.

Five Healthy Tips for Navigating The Food Court This Holiday Season

  1. Power Up like a Pro Athlete.  An athlete would never run a marathon on an empty stomach, why would you?  Start with a healthy breakfast that includes a combination of lean protein, fiber and healthy fats like plain Greek yogurt with berries and crushed almonds. Richtree offers all the key ingredients for a well-rounded breakfast including eggs, low fat ham, whole grain toast and a variety of healthy breakfast treats including freshly baked muffins featuring real fruit and vegetables.
  2. Keeping the Hunger Beast in its Cage.  Most of us can get a little grouchy when we’re hungry. Holiday shopping crowds can be the tipping point and, before you know it, you’re snapping at everyone.  Keep the hunger beast at bay by having healthy portable snacks on hand such as fresh fruits, almonds or a Cosmic Cookie. With a variety of locally sourced, seasonal options including fresh fruit to choose from, Richtree offers the perfect bridge food to tie you over until your next meal.
  3. Go Au Naturel.  When possible, try and choose food options that are sourced locally. Your food will not only tastes better, it will also retain its nutritional value longer resulting in significantly more food energy.  Choosing local food options also supports the community and benefits the environment by reducing processing, the need to preserve with chemicals and lengthy shipping. Also limit your intake of meats that contain hormones and antibiotics, as it may lead to antibiotic resistance.  A select few restaurant chains, including Richtree, offer a selection of meats free of hormones, antibiotics and preservatives. The next time you crave a burger, opt for natural grilled meat like the ones offered at Richtree. Then customize your burger with low fat condiments like mustard instead of mayo, and top with a load of veggies. To make it extra good, eat only half your bun or hollow it out for less carb intake.
  4. Make the right choices. Finding healthy choices at the food court can be tricky. Choose options that are customizable, allowing you to add extra veggies or choose healthier carbs like brown rice and whole grains. Favourites like stir fry’s and pastas can still be healthy choices when they are freshly made, packed with vegetables and light on sauces. Another smart choice is to select a burrito bowl over a traditional burrito to help limit your carb intake, adding plenty of lean natural chicken and extra veggies instead of rice. Salsa is very low in calories and fat so feel free to add as much as you want and garnish with lots of shredded lettuce and tomatoes and a small dollop of heart-healthy guacamole instead of high fat sour cream.Craving something sweet? Look for options that satisfy your sweet tooth and are still packed full of goodness. Richtree’s Cosmic Cookies are full of high fibre oats, spelt and flax with heart healthy fats from sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. While this cookie is definitely healthier than most, it’s also big enough to share – which is key.
  5. Take a load off – Eating well also involves taking the time to digest.  Rather than scoffing down food on the run, find a relatively quiet eatery to enjoy your food and give yourself sometime to relax, recharge and refocus. Remember, power shopping is about going the distance! Richtree’s new Square One eatery offers fast, freshly prepared, healthy food in a relaxed and comfortable location.


The New Richtree Natural Market Square One location opens December 8 and will be located at the entrance 7, North Wing Expansion, Level 1 (next to the Scotia Bank).




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2 Responses

  1. I find it hard to eat healthy food while shopping, but it’s so true. Eating helps the whole tip go more smoothly.

  2. I always try to fill up before I go shopping and bring some snacks in my purse too. The foodcourt at our mall does not really have any healthy food.

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