There's no denying that your tia's arroz con pollo is the best. There's also no denying that while indulging in it, you're sipping on soda, juice or even una cerveza. We know, it's an amazing combo but those unhealthy days are over! Thanks to a program called the Water Up Project, healthy-eating is being encouraged in Latino communities across the U.S.
El Puente De Oro, a Salvadorian restaurant in Langley Park, Maryland, has joined the Water Up Project alongside four other restaurants in the community. With this partnership, restaurant owner and chef Ciro Castro is offering a special meal that you just can't pass up. The large dish includes chicken, rice, beans, salad and a bottle of water – all for only $5. By doing this, customers get to save money as well as hydrate with water instead of high-sugar beverages.
“When they are over here eating, they ask for juice or soda, or any other stuff - no water,” says the head chef in an interview with VOA. “I ask the waiters to offer water, even if they have a beer or any other soda or other drink, they can sometimes get a sip of water.”
Unfortunately, water isn't something that is usually included in Latino dishes. Sugary drinks are almost a staple of Latino dishes and when you go out restaurants, they are offered primarily. The founders of Water Up Project highlight the idea that constantly consuming sugary drinks can increase the risk of diabetes and they want to combat these unhealthy habits with the help of Latino restaurants. The more restaurants that get involved, the better.
As good as Inca Cola or Tamarindo may be, sometimes we have to do what's best for our health and pick up the water bottle instead. And like these restaurant owners and neighbors are doing, we should encourage our abeulos and tios to do the same.