Hot dogs and pop won’t be the only things on the menu.

Lethbridge City Council voted unanimously this week to accept the recommendations from the Healthy Communities Association of Lethbridge and Area (HCA).

Their overall recommendation was that at least 25 per cent of all food and beverage options at concession stands and vending machines be considered healthy.

Impacted facilities include the city-owned venues like the Enmax Centre, U of L Community Stadium, the Yates and Sterndale Bennett Theatre and more. It will also apply to several independently owned or operated places like the YMCA, ATB Centre, Spitz Stadium, and other sports and recreation complexes.
The final report to council mentions, in regards to concession services, that while prior attempts to provide healthier options have been made in the past, it has resulted in food waste and expired products.

“While we continue to always work towards healthier choices, and reviewing healthier products outlined by the Association, we also believe there is balance required for people wanting to have experience-based products that are anticipated at a typical event, but a definite trend toward healthier choices.”

Some examples of healthy products that could be offered at concessions include:

Carrots and celery
Fruit salad
Whole fruit
Hummus packs
Housemade soups and chilli
Sub sandwiches
Baked chips
Cheese and crackers
Beyond meat options
Water and flavoured water
Fruit juices
Ice teas
Some examples of healthy products that could be offered at vending machines include:
Smartfood Ched
Granola bars and protein bars
Beef jerky
Fruit juice
All “low level candy machines” operated by the ENMAX Centre will be removed. At least a quarter of items in vending machines will be “healthy choices as outlined by the food guide.”

In the HCA’s 2018-2019 Nutrition Report Card for Lethbridge’s Recreation Facilities, they gave an overall score of “C”. The city got top marks for the category of Marketing to Children, while “F”s were given to Food Marketing Policy, Food Environment, and Pricing.

In a recent survey by the HCA, 60 per cent of respondents said they would buy more food or beverages at recreational facilities if there were more healthy options and 62 per cent would pay a comparable price for those items.

The report states that the move towards healthier options is not expected to result in a significant change in revenues.

The move to healthier food options will be implemented throughout 2021 starting once concessions are able to reopen.

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