Post Content

Lani blog
Lani Telian, Department of Public Health

 


 

Today, families are eating more and more meals outside the home. Restaurant foods tend to be higher in fat and calories, and are often larger in portion size than meals we eat at home. These foods may be contributing to the problem of overweight and obesity in Massachusetts. As obesity rates continue to grow, many Massachusetts communities are taking action.

Healthy Dining programs are popping up in cities across the state. The Mass in Motion-funded City of New Bedford, with its high rates of diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, recently joined the club.

With its variety of popular ethnic and American restaurants in mind, New Bedford set NBLogo out to create Healthy Dining New Bedford: a voluntary program which encourages restaurant owners and managers to offer healthy menu options. The Mass in Motion team did research in their community, and gathered advice from other communities with healthy dining programs of their own. New Bedford then set three goals for the program:

  1. Recognize restaurant owners for their efforts in creating healthier options.
  2. Provide healthy dining experiences for residents.
  3. Attract tourism and visitors to restaurants throughout the city.

In order to be considered for the Healthy Dining New Bedford program, restaurants owners must submit their adult and children's menus with healthy eating options, which should include some of the following:

  • low fat or skim milk instead of whole milk
  • a small side of vegetables in place of French fries
  • real fruit juice or water in place of sugary beverages such as soda
  • the “half meal-to-go” option, in which a customer eats only half and takes the remaining portion home
  • some dishes in smaller portions

Accepted Healthy Dining restaurants will be promoted in local newspapers, newsletters, on cable access programs and social media channels such as New Bedford’s new Facebook page. Additionally, restaurants will also receive a decal (sticker) to put up on their restaurant windows recognizing their efforts.

More and more customers are looking for “lighter” options. When restaurant owners are on board, making the healthy choice becomes a whole lot easier. For more tips on healthy eating away from home, visit Mass in Motion.

 
 
 

Written By:

Tags: , , , ,

Recent Posts

Encourage Kids to Play Outdoors! posted on Jul 29

Encourage Kids to Play Outdoors!

It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day activities like work, housecleaning and laundry and forget to make time for the things that are much more important to us– like spending quality time with our children. Does this sound familiar? If so, sometimes it’s fun   …Continue Reading Encourage Kids to Play Outdoors!

My Journey Back to Watermelon posted on Jul 25

My Journey Back to Watermelon

The other night, my parents took me and my fiancé* out to eat. My mom likes to keep the conversation light, and as usual, asked questions like “what was your favorite memory as a kid?” and “what would you rather have, a beach house or   …Continue Reading My Journey Back to Watermelon

Kids with Asthma Can Be Active in Summer! posted on Jul 24

Summer in New England is a brief but glorious time when many families experience a change in pace as schools let out and activities slow. Weeks that were once packed with classes, homework and practice are suddenly open for new activities. Whether these include summer   …Continue Reading Kids with Asthma Can Be Active in Summer!