Healthy Eating in Howard County

Healthy Howard certifies 100th Healthy Restaurant

By Lindsey McPherson, lmcpherson@patuxent.com
March 27, 2012 | 5:12 p.m.

Healthy Howard and the county Health Department this week celebrated the certification of “100 Healthy Restaurants.”

The nonprofit Healthy Howard started the Healthy Restaurant program in 2008 to promote safe, clean and healthy restaurant options within the county.

Howard officials gathered at Hickory Ridge Grill in Columbia Tuesday, March 27 to celebrate the landmark. Hickory Ridge Grill is one of the 100 Healthy Restaurants, but the 100th certified Healthy Restaurant was Azul 17 in Columbia.

To be certified, an establishment must be free of Health Department violations, cook without trans fat oil and serve two or more healthy menu items that meet theU.S. Department of Agriculturedietary guidelines, according to Healthy Howard Executive Director Liddy Garcia-Bunuel.

“We’re not stopping at 100,” she said. “We actually want to make sure that every neighborhood has access to a Healthy Restaurant so that everyone in Howard County has good and wonderful options that are in front of them so they can live a healthier lifestyle.”

In addition the Healthy Restaurant program, Healthy Howard also certifies Healthy Schools, Healthy Workplaces and Healthy Childcare facilities.

“This is not telling people what to do but working with folks throughout the community,” Howard County Health Officer Peter Beilenson said.

County Executive Ken Ulman said the healthy certification programs are about “making sure that we were elevating the ethos of how to be healthy, how to make sure your family is healthy, working in a collaborative way.”