Healthy Bedford Healthier Dining & Nutrition
Through a Wellness Grant made possible with funding by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in partnership with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Healthy Bedford launched our Healthy Bedford Healthier Dining Program in 2012. Local Restaurants have the opportunity to partner with us to give diners more menu choices to support healthier dining. Residents have more options and healthier choices!
Our Healthy Dining Program continues in partnership with: Bedford Public Schools, Compass Group Business Dining, Express Pizza, Ginger Japanese Cuisine, Ken's NY Deli and Pizzeria, Melting Pot, Subway, and Virsa De Punjab! Stay Tuned as more dining establishments are added.
As a condition of participation, restaurants adhere to the following practices:
- Offer at least two choices of fruits and/or vegetables (other than potatoes)
- Allow substitution of salad, vegetable or fruit for fried potatoes (e.g. French fries) at no extra cost
- Clearly designate low-fat, low-calorie, lower sodium and trans fat free menu items when offered
- Offer reduced fat milk when milk is offered as a beverage
- Offer tap water free of charge and/or as the default beverage
- Offer some dishes in smaller portion size (e.g., half portion sizes) for a reduced price, entrée sharing at no additional cost, or offers a half-meal to go option upon customer request
The food pyramid that represented the healthy diet for almost 20 years has given way to a food plate, and answers the question: What should my plate look like at mealtime?
"My Plate" developed by the Unites States Department of Agriculture (USDA), has four colored sections representing fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins. Next to the plate is a smaller circle representing dairy products. Using the visual of My Plate, the USDA emphasizes several important nutrition messages: eat smaller portions, make at least half the plate fruits and vegetables and avoid sugary drinks.
Harvard Medical School has a variation on the "Healthy Plate," focusing more on vegetables rather than fruit and limiting dairy to 1 to 2 servings a day. Read more on their recommendations.
Cooking in small quarters or with limited appliances? Jewish Family and Children's Service has published a cookbook Home Cooking without a Kitchen, which was developed in partnership with Project Bread. The cookbook provides 21 tasty and nutritious recipes that follow nutrition criteria based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. All of the recipes are budget-friendly, simple to prepare and can be made without a full kitchen. This cookbook is also a resource for cooking almost any fresh food in a microwave and provides new ways to use ordinary ingredients. It is available in English and Spanish.
Over the past 15 years, research has shown what parents have known for a long time: Sharing a fun family meal is good for the spirit, brain and health of all family members. Recent studies link regular family meals with the kinds of behaviors that parents want for their children: higher grade-point averages, resilience and self-esteem. Additionally, family meals are linked to lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, eating disorders and depression. This site from the Family Dinner Project, advocates the power of family dinners to nourish ethical thinking, offers ideas on how to involve your family in menus, meal planning, and how to make family meals a bonding, nourishing experience.
Need Help Accessing Food or Resources to Help with Food Costs?
Bedford has a Food Bank in the Town Center Building - drive through is available on Thursdays, 4 pm to 5:30 pm at 12 Mudge Way, rear parking lot. Home delivery is also available to those who require it. This is an ongoing service to the Town and available to all residents. No pre-registration required or personal information is collected. This is a contact-free service. Vehicles pull up and the groceries are placed in the trunk or rear seat. See more information.
Other food security resources:
While some people have trouble finding enough money to buy food, others need help preparing meals. There are a variety of groups that provide services including Meals on Wheels Association of America and National Council on Aging.
Local opportunities for classes on meal prep and more:
Local Farmer's Markets (in season):
- Acton-Boxborough - Sundays 10 to 1, June 10 through October 21 Held on Pearl Street in West Acton Village
- Billerica - Mondays 3 to 7 pm, June 25 through October 1 Held at Council on Aging, 25 Concord Road
- Carlisle - Saturdays 8 am to 12 pm, June 23 through October 20 Held at Kimball's Ice Cream, 343 Bedford Road (Route 225)
- Chelmsford - Saturdays 10 am to 2 pm, June 16 through September 15 Held on Town Common, 7 Academy Street
- Lexington - Tuesdays 2 to 6:30 pm, May 29 through October 30 Held in Lexington Center where Mass Avenue meets Fletcher Avenue
- Lowell - Sundays 11 am to 3 pm, year-round Held indoors at Mill Number 5, 250 Jackson Street
Want to read more?
- Healthy School Lunch ideas
- More Healthy School Lunch ideas
- Calculate your Daily Calorie Goal
- Spark People helps people reach their health goals with fitness plans, calorie counters, exercise trackers and blogs
- Quick Tips for Healthy Eating and Moving More
- Recipes from famous chefs. And if you are a Pinterest Fan - Check this out!