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Healthier food and beverage options at recreation centres

Recreational spaces are key community settings that can promote healthy food options while at the same time supporting physical activity, community belonging and healthy living.

To promote healthier food and beverage options at municipal arenas, Public Health launched pilot programs with Blandford-Blenheim Township in 2015/16 and Zorra Township in 2016. The final reports look at how creating supportive environments can make it easier for patrons to make healthier food and beverage choices.

Read the reports:

Resource package: Getting started with healthy eating in your recreation setting (May 2017)

A Healthier Recreation Concession Pilot Project Evaluation - Blandford Blenheim (July 2016)

A Healthier Recreation Concession Pilot Project Evaluation - Zorra (September 2016)

About the program

Fresh smoothies, granola bars, hummus with pretzels and yogurt are some of the new healthy options  being served at community centres in Thamesford and Embro starting last year.

In partnership with Oxford County Public Health, recreation facilities in Blandford-Blenheim and Zorra Townships began offering healthy options at their concession stands alongside traditional arena fare. This included a revamped “Goal Mouth CafĂ©” at the Plattsville arena in 2015 and a launch with free smoothie samples at a hockey tournament. Fresh smoothies and healthy snacks were introduced at concession stands in Thamesford and Embro Community Centres in 2016.

The shift towards healthy options stems from the “Healthy Communities” conversation that was held in 2014 where Public Health met with parents, youth and recreation facility operators in the County about the value of offering healthy food and beverages in public recreation spaces.

Photos

1. Katherine Peacock Goodwin, Lily Russell and Emily Shoemaker of the Plattsville Atom House AtoMc Rage

2. Ken Wood, Manager of Community Services, Township of Blandford-Blenheim Township and Public Health Nutritionist & Registered Dietitian Katie Neil pour smoothie samples