Healthy Concessions

Parks are often the first places where children and youth learn to play a sport, ride a bike or cast a line. Parks are also places where children and youth can learn to start making healthy choices when choosing a snack, drink or meal. But parks must offer these items in their food service operations first.

During the busy school year/sports season, students and their families often eat meals at the school concession stand. Athletes need to eat well to play their best, and families need to do the same to keep up with hectic schedules.

In order to promote healthier eating options, while also keeping costs low and profit margins high, partners from across the state worked together to develop the following toolkits that offer healthy model guidelines, menu choices and easy-to-use tools for concessions in Missouri parks and schools.

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Eat Smart in Parks

Eat Smart in Parks (ESIP) is a statewide effort aimed at promoting healthier eating options in Missouri’s state and local parks.

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Eat Smart, Play Hard

Eat Smart, Play Hard (ESPH) combines the strategies developed for parks with new tools specific for schools.

Results and additional information

  • Survey results: In interviews at state and city parks, about 1/3 of visitors said they brought in outside food because they wanted to eat healthier food that wasn't available in the parks.
  • Supporting stats: 9 out of 10 Missouri athletic directors recommend athletes eat well to play their best.
  • Testimonial: When Eldon High School introduced healthier items in 2015, they increased their profit by 70% over the previous school year!
  • Testimonial: After healthy options were added in Liberty and Moberly, customer satisfaction rose by 24% in Liberty and 54% in Moberly!
  • Toolkit info: Maximizing profit while controlling costs is a crucial part of the equation so our toolkits offer strategies for keeping costs low and profit margins high while increasing the popularity of healthy food.

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