Healthy Options At Grand Hyatt

Lucky we live Kaua‘i, eh? Not only because we are surrounded by great beauty and kind people, but because we don’t have to travel to paradise if we want a staycation. Set on 50 oceanfront acres, Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort and Spa in Poipu is a luxurious option when you want to save money and relax.

The resort has received many accolades, including the Conde Nast 2012 Gold List. Its lush gardens and manicured lawns cradle six restaurants and six lounges, and each of the 602 newly renovated guest rooms comes with a private a lanai. There are three tennis courts, the 45,000-square-foot award-winning Anara Spa, an 18-hole championship golf course at adjacent Poipu Bay Resort, a saltwater lagoon, and a water playground with a lazy river pool, waterfalls and a 150-foot lava tube water slide.

If you’re adventurous and want to speed down the water slide, here’s a tip.

Women go faster if they lean forward and grab their feet; men should lie down on their back and raise up their shoulder blades and heels. The goal is to have as little skin and fabric as possible touching the slide.

After playing in the water or being pampered at the spa, you’ll likely want something healthy to eat. This summer, Hyatt launched “Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served.” This global philosophy focuses on sourcing and providing healthy food and beverage options that are good for the community and for the planet.

All restaurants feature new menus with hormone-and antibiotic-free meat, cage-free eggs, sustainable seafood and fresh local ingredients. Preparing the food in healthful ways include incorporating ingredients with less sodium, additives and sugar. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are available at all six Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i restaurants.

Hyatt has joined forces with Partnership for Healthier America (PHA), which will hold Hyatt accountable for continuously improving the nutritional profile of children’s food menus at full-service Hyatt properties across the U.S.

“For Kids By Kids” provides nutritious and fresh options, and was developed by Alice Waters — a pioneering chef who in the 1970s opened the first American farm-to-table restaurant, Chez Panisse.

You won’t find chicken nuggets and pizza, but healthy alternatives such as organic chicken and beef satay, sesame somen noodles, grilled mahi mahi and Kula baby lettuce with a papaya-coconut-lilikoi dressing.

The “For Kids By Kids” menu was tasted, tested and approved by kids, including 11-year-old Haile Thomas, who is spearheading a campaign for healthy eating through her online cooking show Kids Can Cook.

“We want to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising what’s best for future generations,” says executive chef Matt Smith. “We believe we have a responsibility to ensure that our meals are thoughtfully sourced and carefully served.”

The menus have been designed around three pillars. One, providing portion-controlled, balanced offerings of natural ingredients prepared with nutrient preserving cooking techniques. Two, sustainable purchasing and operational practices that are intended to improve the long-term health of people and the planet. And three, support healthy communities by sourcing from local suppliers and farmers markets.

At Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i, herbs and vegetables are grown in an onsite garden, and chefs shop at southside farmers markets. All seafood is sustainably harvested, and for more than three years the resort has redirected kitchen waste to pig farmers. Eco-friendly take-out packaging is used, and heat produced by the air conditioning system is converted to heat water for guest rooms and swimming pools, conserving 205,000 kilowatt hours each year.

“We are evolving the way we purchase and serve food,” says Smith. “Our effort to support the health of our guests, planet and the local community is at the core of every food and beverage decision made.”

Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort and Spa, 1571 Poipu Road, Koloa, 742-1234. hyattfood.com

Marta Lane is a freelance food writer. For more information, visit TastingKauai.com

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