By Anita Courtney
–Fresh veggies and dip at the Lexington public pools.
–Fresh fruit served with kids meals at Kentucky state parks.
–A bike stocked with snacks and jump ropes appearing at after school bus stops.
These are just a few of the steps the Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition is taking to make healthy eating fun and accessible for kids.
The sad irony is that we tell children to eat healthy food, but they are often surrounded by only unhealthy choices at recreational facilities, movie theaters, school concession stands, youth groups and restaurants.
Their palates and expectations become acclimated to processed foods high in sugar, fat and salt and lacking in the nutrients their bodies need.
The 30-plus members of the Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition are out to change that by spreading Better Bites to any group (commercial or non-profit) that regularly serves food to children.
We provide technical assistance including individualized menu development, lists of snacks that meet Better Bites nutrition guidelines, sourcing information, graphics, signage and promotion.
All partners can revamp their whole menu or add just a few Better Bites items.
“We’re particularly excited about breaking into some new types of venues,” Better Bites Coordinator Kory Brinker said.
“The Kentucky Theatre is the first movie theater to come on board and we hope all the others in town will follow suit.
“We’d also like to see more church youth groups join in as well as sport teams and any business that promotes physical activity to kids.
“We are working to be the first city in the country to offer healthy choices everywhere kids live, learn and play.”
Better Bites makes picking the healthy choice, the easy choice. Just look for the Better Bites logo.
How You Can Help
–Patronize Better Bites locations (see list) and let the management know you appreciate their efforts.
–Help us spread Better Bites through your circles.
Do you belong to a church with a youth group? Is your child on a sports team that distributes way too many Capri Suns?
Do you frequent a restaurant that you wished served Better Bites?
–Contact Kory Brinker, Better Bites Coordinator, to introduce him to your contacts at these venues to get the ball rolling. firstname.lastname@example.org
–DIY Better Bites The more you walk the talk on healthy eating in your household, the more commonplace and acceptable healthy eating will be for your children and their friends.
Anita Courtney is Director of the Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition.