The perfect entertainment snack

Whenever a change in the status quo is made, one of the first questions that come to mind is “Will making healthier substitutions cause us to lose customers or make money?”

According to a study published in the Journal of Public Health, an Iowa High School showed success is possible!

The school focused on adding just eight healthy options, including carrots, apples, a grilled chicken sandwich and string cheese. They also replaced regular nacho cheese sauce with a no trans fat variety and prepared popcorn with canola oil rather than coconut oil to make it trans fat free and lower in saturated fat. The results showed an income increase of 4 percent and, although student satisfaction was not affected, parental satisfaction increased. In addition, sales of the modified nachos and popcorn increased.

As reported in “Celebrating Healthy,” the Minnesota Department of Health found similar results.

After making changes for healthier foods, the Edina Aquatic Center increased profits by 12 percent between 2011 and 2012, the Richfield pool increased profits by 20 percent and the Dwan Golf Club decreased food costs by 6 percent!

These studies and others support the potential for the successful addition of healthier concession foods. Knowing of the success of these leading concession operations will make it easier for others to make healthier menu changes.

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Mother and daughter buying fruit together

The American Heart Association recently released recommendations for daily levels of added sugar. The guideline for kids and adolescents is 25 grams, or around 6 teaspoons, daily. For most kids that is a significant, yet worthy, change in their current intake. For perspective, one 12-oz. can of soda has about 10 tsp. of added sugar. A sugar added cereal could have 2-3 tsp. in just ¾ cup.

We all know that all of the holidays at this time of the year, starting with Halloween (or Fall Harvest) celebrations, traditionally run heavy on sweets. Now is a very good time to add options for healthy balance. It is possible to have plenty of fun with activities that keep kids moving and treats with less sugar. Keep in mind that it is all about healthy balance. Celebrations may push the sugar limit a little more than other days of the week, but it doesn’t have to be the traditional sugar overload. Make a change and make a healthy difference!

This week’s Wednesday WOWS Newsletter contains Parent Tips to add healthy balance. Check them out. If you are thinking of using any of the ideas for school parties, refer to your kid’s school wellness policies first.

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