Water never tasted so good

May 22, 2014

newswaterMaria Vargas, RN, loves the new infused water offered at Providence St. Vincent’s Eatery. “I even bought a special container from our gift shop for the water,” Maria says. “It has the Superman symbol on it, because I’m a super fan of the water!” 

The endoscopy charge nurse is referring to more than 20 unique combinations of fresh fruit and herbs that lend their flavors to a rotating selection of waters each day. Flavors include watermelon-rosemary, orange-blueberry, pineapple-coconut, mixed berry-peach and mojito (lime and mint). 

This idea is part of the Healthy Dining Initiative. “As we moved to encourage our customers to make healthy choices, we wanted to provide an alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages,” explains Kas Naidoo, Providence regional executive chef. “Water is the healthiest beverage but not always the easiest choice. Infused water presents an attractive, delicious way for customers to stay hydrated.” 

Maria agrees. “Before, I always found an excuse not to drink water,” she says. “Now, it’s a ritual. I fill up my cup every day, twice a day.” 

She’s even lost weight by switching from daily sodas to water. 

Fans like Maria are consuming more than 64 gallons of infused water a day at the Eatery, where the program was piloted. Now, Providence Milwaukie and Seaside Hospitals, and Willamette Falls Medical Center are also offering several flavors daily, and the other Providence cafes and eateries plan to provide free infused water in the near future.