Snack Strong, Lexington: 8-Year-Old Wins ‘Better Bites’ Contest

Eight-year-old Caitlyn Smith, a second grader at Wellington Elementary, captured the spirit – and first prize in the “Better Bites Needs A Slogan Contest” – with her slogan, “Snack Strong.”

Her prize:  lunch with Mayor Jim Gray, $100 and two passes to Lexington’s public pools.

Now in its second year, Better Bites, sponsored by the local Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition, is  designed to combat childhood obesity.

In Kentucky, 33% of children, 60% of women and 80% of men are overweight or obese.

Caitlyn’s winning slogan was selected from 625 entries from people aged 5 to 74.

Other notable slogans included “Better Bites, Not Just for Vampires;” “Eat, Play, Love;” “Winners, Not Wieners;” and “Better Bites/Better People.”

“Snack Strong” will be used to promote healthier concession stand fare this summer at four city pools. Woodland and Southland offer full menus, while shorter menus are available at Castlewood and Shillito on weekends.

Healthy menu items include chicken wraps, grilled chicken sandwiches, yogurt parfaits, fresh fruit, sunflower seeds and plenty of bottled water, which is 25 cents cheaper than soda.

View the full menus at

In addition, another Veggin’ Out at the Pool dinner, featuring locally raised food, will be June 22 at Southland Pool. Tickets are available at Southland Pool, Good Foods Market and Café and the Lexington Farmers Market.

The overall goal of Better Bites is to change the food environment in the community, according to Chairperson Anita Courtney of the Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition“It’s so common sense to make healthy food more accessible to wherever children live, learn and play,” she said.

“Kids will eat what’s there. If it’s junk, then they eat junk.  If it’s fruit, then they eat fruit.”

Along with city pools, the Beaumont YMCA will offer “Snack Strong” options this summer, and the Lexington Legends also have embraced the program.

Better Bites meals will be the exclusive offering for kids’ combo meals at Whitaker Bank Ballpark, including the “Kids Eat Free” night every Monday.

Better Bites combos include a Smucker’s Uncrustable (a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the crust), a choice of whole fruit or Sun Chips, and a 20 oz. bottle of water.

The concession stand at the Home Depot Kids Area, located down the left field line, will be devoted to helping children “Snack Strong.”

The Legends also will raise awareness of the Better Bites program with promotions and announcements during each home game.

The “Snack Strong” buzz that’s spreading across the community is just what the Tweens coalition sought when launching the slogan contest.

Said Courtney, the group’s chairperson: “This is an example of all of Lexington pitching in to help.”