Balance - Wellness, Sustainability, and Humanity

In January, 2007, Eurest Dining Services launched their Balanced Choices Program.

Over the years Balanced Choices has evolved into Balance - an end to end wellness solution that emphasizes moderation and encourages healthier lifestyle choices. By linking elements of wellness, sustainability and humanity, Balance promotes lifestyles and behaviors that can be maintained for the long term and offers healthier choices, promotes active lifestyles and delivers information and decision essentials that enable customers to make knowledgeable choices.

The three pillars - Wellness, Sustainability, and Humanity are being practiced by Eurest Dining Services at NIH. One of the more noticeable wellness options include the re-launching of Balance with a newly revised Sensible Selection criteria and new Icon. The Sensible Selection criteria was developed in conjunction with NIH dietitians.

In addition to the updated Sensible Selection criteria, Eurest Dining at NIH Wellness offering include:

  • Milk free of artificial rbgh
  • 0 grams trans fat products
  • Reduced sodium options
  • Increased whole grain options
  • Increased fruit and vegetable offerings
  • Promote plant based proteins
With Sustainability and Humanity options in mind, Eurest Dining Services at NIH provides poultry products with reduced antibiotics, sustainable seafood, waste reduction practices, local sourcing of products, and cage free eggs.


Sensible Selections IconSensible Selection
      • Main course less than or equal to 400 calories, 20 g of fat, 5 g of saturated and natural trans fat combined, 120 mg of cholesterol and 600 mg of sodium.*
      • Side dishes less than or equal to 250 calories, 5 g of fat, 5 g of saturated and natural trans fat combined, 20 mg of cholesterol and 250 mg of sodium.
      • Meals and combo plates consisting of protein, starch, and vegetable, less than or equal to 600 calories, 25 g of fat, 5 g of saturated and natural trans fat combined, 120 mg of cholesterol and 750 mg of sodium. 
Full Meal or
Combo Plate*
Calories ≤600 ≤400 ≤250
Total Fat (g) ≤25 ≤20 ≤5
Saturated Fat and Natural Trans Fat
Combined* (g)
≤5 ≤5 <5
Cholesterol (mg) ≤120 ≤120 ≤20
Sodium (mg) ≤750 ≤600 ≤250
*Note: Trans fats listed above are naturally occurring such as those in animal protein and dairy products not added/artificial trans fats such as those in baked goods and snack foods for which our standard is 0g. Full Meal or Combo Plate to include, entrée, recommendation ½ baked or sweet potato or ½ cup brown rice, ½ cup steamed vegetable (does not include starchy vegetable), fresh apple and bottled water.

Changes Made in Nutritional Labeling

(Buildings 10/ACRF, 10 CRC, 10/B1, 31, 35, 40, 45)

In January, 2011, customers noticed changes in the way the entrees were portioned and priced within the dining centers operated by Eurest Dining Services.

These changes were made to meet the requirements of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 21 U.S.C. 343(q)(5)(H) that was implemented in March 2011. Within the Eurest Dining Centers, detailed nutritional information on each item served over 60 times per year is displayed and available for your review.

Some portion sizes were reduced to USDA recommended sizes to meet the more stringent requirements. In cases where the portion size is reduced, a corresponding lower price will be charged. For those of you wishing to purchase an additional portion, an a la carte price will be available.

This information is intended to help you, the customer, make more informed choices when visiting the NIH dining centers.


Contact Information

John Crawford
Program Manager
Telephone: (301) 402-8180

Brian Davis
Quality Assurance Specialist
Telephone: (301) 402-8180

Pamela Jenkins
Quality Assurance Specialist
Telephone: (301) 402-8180