Pinellas concession stands to offer healthy snacks at youth sporting events

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PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Any parent will tell you getting kids to eat their fruits and veggies can be tough.

“It’s pretty hard, I have to feed this one because he is really picky, but my daughter is a little bit better,” said Shanais Griffith, a mother of three.

Sometimes, greasy fast food is the only option, especially for families who are stuck watching their kids play sports at night.

That’s why the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County rolled out “Fun Bites,” a new initiative aimed at providing fresh, healthy options alongside more traditional ones.

“Some of these kids are out here playing two or three games a day…when they are here for four or five hours a day, this is the only place they can go for food,” said Megan Carmichael of the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County.

Youth concession stands can apply to become a “Fun Bites” location and work with County staff to add healthy menu items, like baked chips, fruit, yogurt, grilled chicken sandwiches and water. The new menu items, which are low in sodium, calories or fat, will have an orange slice logo next to them on menu boards. Concession stands in Largo and St. Petersburg have already implemented the program.

Not everyone can digest the idea of swapping out cotton candy for carrots, but the change is something most families seem welcome to serve up.

 Learn more about the Fun Bites program and how communities can join.

 

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