Healthy Restaurants

Today, Americans spend half their food budget and consume a third of their calories at restaurants. Eating out often translates into extra calories that are high in salt and unhealthy fats.

Healthy Howard’s Healthy Restaurants can help. Our program encourages restaurants to offer healthy foods to consumers dining out in Howard County. More than 120 participating restaurants offer convenient, accessible and delicious dining no matter what your tastes or where you live in the county.

Our partner restaurants are certified through 2016 using a detailed list of criteria that includes maintaining clean and safe establishments based on Environmental Health inspections and offering a selection of delicious and nutritious meals.

View a full list of 2015-16 Healthy Restaurants.

Healthy Restaurant Requirements

All certified Healthy Restaurants must offer two “Healthy Menu Options.” At least one Healthy Menu item should be available during all meal times.

Criteria for all Healthy Menu Options:

  1. 700 calories or less
  2. Less than 30% of calories from fats
  3. Less than 10% of calories from saturated fat
  4. Less than 35% calories from sugars
  5. 770 mg of sodium or less
  6. No deep-fried items
  7. Contain no more than 0.5 grams of artificial trans fat per serving in all menu items containing partially hydrogenated oils
  8. Recommendation of non-sugared sweetened beverage to accompany meal

Each Breakfast Entrée (if applicable) must include (entrée includes any side dish, but not the drink):

  1. Lean protein (e.g., eggs, white meat poultry, lean beef, tofu) or any item with more than 30 grams protein
  2. Vegetables (e.g., mushroom or peppers in omelets) and/or
  3. Fresh fruit (e.g., parfaits with light yogurt, fruit salad)

Each Lunch/Dinner Entrée must include (entrée includes any side dish, but not the drink):

  1. Lean protein (e.g., white meat poultry, lean beef, pork, fish or other seafood, tofu, beans, eggs and soy) or any item with more than 30 grams protein
  2. At least 1 serving (1/2 cup) of non-starchy vegetables (e.g., broccoli, spinach, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, dark leafy greens, carrots, squash, peppers) and/or1 serving (1/2 cup) of fresh fruit

Find out more!

For more information on our Healthy Restaurants program, contact [email protected]

Eat Healthy With These Resources

Choose My Plate  provides practical information to individuals, health professionals, nutrition educators, and the food industry to help consumers build healthier diets with resources and tools for dietary assessment, nutrition education, and other user-friendly nutrition information.

The Nutrition Source from Harvard School of Public Health provides evidence-based diet and nutrition information for clinicians, health professionals, the media and the public.

American Cancer Society offers tips and recipes to help you and your family make healthy food choices.

Healthy Dining Finder is a national healthy restaurants program that partners with a wide range of restaurants that joined to offer a selection of dietitian-recommended Healthy Dining menu choices. Hand-picked by Healthy Dining’s team of registered dietitians, they meet Healthy Dining’s nutrition criteria and incorporate lean and high-nutrient ingredients. Here you can also find nutrition resources, tips and recipes!