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IHOP debuts new ‘Simple & Fit’ menu

With a federal menu-labeling mandate on the horizon, IHOP has rolled out its new Simple & Fit menu featuring items with less than 600 calories.

Based in Glendale, Calif., IHOP joins a growing number of chains that are offering lower calorie items specifically designated on the menu.

Sister brand Applebee’s, both owned by parent DineEquity Inc., last year introduced a menu line featuring five items under 550 calories, and chains such as Ruby Tuesday, Seasons 52, Manhattan Bagel, Stir Crazy Fresh Asian Grill, Starbucks, and Corner Bakery Café are among those with similar offerings for calorie counters.

IHOP’s Simple & Fit items were part of a menu redesign that debuted at the 1,476-unit chain late last month. Under the new menu, all of the under-600-calorie items are designated with a green icon.

IHOP kids’ menu items, all of which are under 600 calories, now feature a Simple & Fit icon as well. At lunch and dinner, IHOP now serves fresh fruit as a side dish for kids in place of fries. Placemats for kids also promote healthful eating and being active.

For those not ordering from the kids’ menu, Simple & Fit menu items include a whole wheat French toast combo topped with sliced banana and served with scrambled egg substitute and two strips of turkey bacon for 490 calories; two seasonal fruit crêpes topped with fruit, low-fat strawberry yogurt and granola for 590 calories; and a spinach, mushroom and tomato omelet with onions and Swiss cheese served with fruit for 330 calories.

Guests also can choose various half sandwich options paired with fresh fruit, all for under 500 calories; a fruit and yogurt bowl for 330 calories; or grilled tilapia with sautéed mushrooms, onions, diced tomatoes, balsamic glaze and a lemon wedge with broccoli and a house salad for 490 calories.

Tips for reducing calories — such as holding the butter or whipped topping or using sugar-free syrup — are printed throughout the menu.

In addition to the Simple & Fit items, IHOP’s menu revamp included several new menu options with no calorie limit in mind.

Among them is a new line of Bacon ‘n Beef burgers, with hickory-smoked bacon blended into the beef patties.

The chain also has added its Cinn-A-Stack pancakes or French toast — layered with cinnamon roll filling and drizzled with cream cheese icing — as a permanent menu item. Cinn-A-Stacks previously were a limited-time offering.

Also new are a biscuit-and-gravy combo plate served with sausage eggs and hash browns; a Belgian waffle plate with eggs and sausage; loaded potato and bacon soup; a chicken fajita quesadilla; and fried Maui-style crunchy shrimp.

The new menu also offers the choice of combining two items from a selection of options at lunch and dinner.

IHOP is a subsidiary of Glendale, Calif.-based DineEquity Inc., which also owns the Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar brand.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].

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