You've Now Got a (Healthier) Northborough Baked Potato

Spearheaded by the town's health department, it is pushing ahead with some "Healthy Northborough" initiatives.

now offers a pulled chicken sandwich with one side that could include a light cuke salad, corn or pinto beans. And it's even now got the official Healthy Northborough Potato, a baked potato with low-fat sour cream and green onions.

It's one of eight food establishments in Northborough that has signed on to take part in the Building a Healthy Northborough initiative, which has been driven by the health department.

"More and more diners are asking for, and expecting, healthy options," said Health Agent Jamie Terry, who presented plaques to the participating restaurants at the Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday night. "We're fortunate that in Northborough, restaurants owners and managers are responding and offering lighter and healthier food options."

Terry said that while eight restaurants have officially signed on to take part, 15 are "interested." A completely voluntary action, she said she expects others to eventually participate.

Those restaurants that offer these Building a Healthy Northborough choices have signs in their doorways or windows, and also table cards indicating the choices and their nutritional information.

Other restaurants that are participating include , which has an English muffin, low-fat blueberry muffin and a multigrain bagel on its menu. 's got a few options on its menu, and ncludes a Mediterranean chicken wrap. 

"Monti's is in the process of making an entire section of healthy options," said Terry.

has a salad topped with roasted chicken breast, as well as a chicken vegetable soup with noodles. They, too, are "looking to add more items." has countless items that meet the standards, and the Bistro 119 at the, too, is taking part.

The Board of Selectmen, too, approved the acceptance of a grant for $60,000 issued to the public health department from Mass. in Motion to fund initiatives to combat childhood obesity, promote activity and offer healthy options.

Terry reported that this is the first time, according to statistics, that children may live an unhealthier and shorter life than their parents. The obesity rate in some age groups has tripled.

There is also a Building a Healthy Northborough newsletter available at all the schools, the library and the town hall, and a new website is coming soon. On Valentine Road, 30 community gardens are maintained, also the result of this initiative, and the department is looking into creating informational signs to post at parks and other recreational facilities.

"We work with a lot of people on this," said Terry. "It's hard to mention them all. We work with the DPW, the food pantry, the Boy Scouts ... it's one of the happy parts of my job."

Kimberly Reed June 27, 2012 at 12:19 PM
I commend Northborough for making the effort, however I think that some how this is missing the mark. Low fat is not necessarily "healthy" as most low fat options are processed and have a chemical substitute or sugar in place of the fat. Healthy fat's are important for our overall health. I would like to see this 60,000 grant offer less processed and chemical products. Encourage our farmers to grow organically since we don't have a farmers market in town with these options. Encourage people to purchase pesticide, hormone, GMO and antibiotic free foods. Educate the towns people on real healthy eating, and not an industry perception of healthy eating.
Michael Horgan June 27, 2012 at 12:40 PM
They need more low carb and low fat options. Most of the food choices are way too high in carbs. I also want to know how IHOP got an award when they are not even open yet.
Cristina Hays June 27, 2012 at 02:42 PM
lower sodium options would be great, also.
Dr. Brian Russell DM June 27, 2012 at 04:10 PM
KIm, What a great Idea. A farmers Market on Blake Street in the center of town would rock!
Colleen Baldelli June 27, 2012 at 04:26 PM
I agree 100% with Kim. Forget about low fat processed options, more fruits and veggies are the best options. How about getting all the local farmers on board with the education end of healthy eating and perhaps interesting more families in shopping at their locations rather than the "fast food" places.
Megan Kudrolli July 01, 2012 at 05:24 PM
I would be so excited about a Farmers Market down town! We have some great local farms that provide wonderful locally grown options, and Lowes Market carries many local and organic options in their shop. But having all the local, seasonal produce available in the same place would be wonderful. Although, I do feel the need to mention that while food-related health is certainly important, perhaps we could use some of this funding to improve sidewalks and add bike lanes throughout town. The initiative is called "Mass in motion" after all, and the current state of walking and biking paths all but prohibits using anything but a car as a mode of transportation. Plopping a sign down marking restaurants that already have healthy options on their menu is good, but we, as a town, can do better!
Susan LaDue August 07, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Yes, a farmers market in Northboro center! Fresh seasonal produce, baked goods, newly pressed cider, can you imagine?


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