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MenuDirections 2013 Day 1: Health on the Menu

The first day of the conference featured sessions on reducing salt and sugar, menuing sustainable seafood and fruit as dessert.

Reducing salt and sugar, sustainable seafood and fruit as desserts were the key sessions on the first day of MenuDirections 2013, which was held in Tampa, Fla., March 3-5. Plus, an opening Meet the Press session offered FSD editors' take on the most pressing health and wellness topics of the day. Click through for photos from day one.

Peter Romeo, vice president, content for CSP Business Media, Foodservice Group, leads a Meet the Press panel with the editors of FoodService Director on health and wellness trends. (From left to right) Paul King, editorial director, Becky Schilling, editor, and Lindsey Ramsey, managing editor, FSD Online.

Attendees listend to FSD's editors talk about the new school meal regulations, the Lesley University DOJ ruling on food allergies as a disability, and other top health and wellness trends.

The vendor fair lunch offered attendees the chance to try some of the conference's sponsors best products.

Hallmark's Christine Rankin gets a sample of the goods at the Kikkoman booth.

RC Fine Foods serve fish tacos during the vendor fair lunch.

UCLA's Kevin Aiello and Utah State's David Chambers give the fish tacos a try.

During the Desserts Inspirations with Fruit sesssion, sponsored by Dole, Chef Dieter Preiser and Chef Rick Perez, both of Dole Packaged Foods, discuss how using fruit as an ingredient in desserts is a great way to offer something sweet, while keeping things healthy. 

Attendess sample two fruit milkshakes.

Stephen Barber, executive chef at Southern Adventist University in  Collegedale, Tenn., enjoys his milkshake during the Dessert Inspirations with Fruit session.

The Lowering Sugar & Sodium session features Chef Todd Downs, Founder, Food Sense Inc., who discusses strategies to lower sugar and sodium by using raisins in innovative ways. 

James Painter, Ph.D., R.D., chair, School of Family & Consumer Sciences, Eastern Illinois University, was also on hand during the Lowering Sugar & session to offer a medical and research perspective on using raisins as a health food.

During the session, attendees sample raisin paste and learned how it could be used as a sweetner.

Chef Downs' raisin mango chutney.

As part of The Next Great Catch—A Discussion of Underutilized Seafood,
Chef Barton Seaver, National Geographic fellow and sustainability fellow from the New England Aquarium, speaks about the importance of menuing underutilized species. 

Seaver offers some fish cooking tips during the session, such as cooking fish with vegetables. Then the fish will hold better on the line. If serving strange species of fish to customers, plate it with familiar ingredients or sauces, such as making a bed of vegetables and broth, and cook fish on top of it. 

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