The healthy way to a kid’s stomach may be found at a pool concession stand during the swimming season. An expanded menu of healthy foods is planned in Lexington this summer. The ‘Better Bites’ menu includes fruit, a grilled chicken sandwich, and bottled water. It was posted at the Woodland and Southland Aquatic Centers this past summer. Anita Courtney is chair of the Lexington Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition. She says the healthy menu will be offered at two additional pools this year.
“We’re going to expand the better bites menu..do more marketing…reduce the portion sizes of some of the less healthy food,” said Courtney.
Courtney says this summer the “better bite” items will be the only concession options at Shillito and Castlewood pools. Courtney says ‘taste’ issues can be tough to overcome, at first.
“Well there’s actually a term for it. It’s called hyper palatable.. so things like cookie dough ice cream have so much sugar and fat and are so appealing to the pallet that they’re very very tempting…but what I know from working with people for over 30 years on food is once you start to eat carrots and vegetables and lower fat things, you actually come to prefer those…there is a transition time,” added Courtney.
Bryan Rodgers is with the Lexington Parks Department. He says city officials could opt to charge more for sweet-fatty foods and less for healthy options.
“We set out our prices.. we are expected to cover our own expenses as well..we talked about that balancing out and that’s where it comes in,” said Rodgers.
Rodgers says additional healthier food items could be offered at city wide events like the Fourth of July and Arts and Cultural festivals. But, Rodgers says, much of that is in the hands of private vendors.