Healthy Bedford Healthier Dining and 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 CuisineKen's NY Deli & Pizzeria, Melting Pot, Sora Restaurant, 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

    Program Brochure for Establishments
    Program brochure for Diners
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 1-2 servings a day. Read more on their recommendations here.

Cooking in small quarters or with limited appliances?  Jewish Family & 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 Pantry in the Town Center Building - see more information and application here
 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 & more:  

Local Farmer's Markets:

  • Acton-BoxboroughSundays 10-1, June10-October 21    Held on Pearl Street in West Acton Village  
  • Billerica   – Mondays 3-7, June 25-Oct 1    Held at Council on Aging, 25 Concord Road   
  • Burlington – Thursdays 3:30-6:30 Held at Grand View Farm, 55 Center Street
  • CarlisleSaturdays 8-12, 6/23 – 10/20    Held at Kimball’s Ice Cream, 343 Bedford Road (Route 225)
  • ChelmsfordSaturdays 10-2, 6/16 – 9/15 Held on Town Common, 7 Academy Street
  • LexingtonTuesdays 2-6:30, 5/29-10/30   Held in Lexington Center where Mass Ave meets Fletcher Ave
  • LowellSundays 11-3, year-round  Held indoors at Mill #5, 250 Jackson Street

Want to read more?

Healthy School Lunch ideas here and more here

Calculate your Daily Calorie Goal

Spark People helps people reach their health goals with fitness plans, calorie counters, exercise trackers & blogs

Quick Tips for Healthy Eating and Moving More

Recipes from famous chefs are here.  And if you are a Pinterest Fan - Check this out!