When summer rolls around, there is no place I’d rather be than in the water! St. Albans is fortunate to have an amazing pool available for public use. It is managed by the St. Albans Recreation Department and known for its friendly staff and vast array of swim related programs. There are about 40,000 people who visit the pool each year and inevitably they all get hungry! According to Recreation Director, Kelly Viens, “Almost every family makes a purchase of either food or drink.”
Hitting the pool snack bar is a bit of a tradition for people in the summer and often times a trip to the pool isn’t complete without a stop. Up until now, most of the choices involved sugar. There were healthier options available at times, but when fresh fruit is right next to the Swedish Fish and Skittles, it can be difficult to make the healthier choice.
This summer, the snack bar is getting a healthy upgrade! According to Viens, “There will be great, healthy choices! We’ll be offering water, some juices, teas, coffee and smoothies for beverages. We will also offer cheese sticks, fresh fruit, granola bars, crackers, popcorn and couple of chocolate choices. We will not be selling candy or soda. We’re saying goodbye to the sugar laden snacks and drinks we’ve carried in the past. We’re really excited about this and the staff has totally embraced the change.”
When asked what prompted the change, Viens said, “It’s a change we’ve considered and talked about in great length for the past couple of years. Attending the EPODE presentation at NMC was the final push we needed to make the changes. Their results stated that even though healthy practices were encouraged in school, that health benefits were not realized until those healthy choices were available and supported throughout the community. We know that we see a lot of kids every day at the pool and by offering healthy choices at the snack bar, in addition to the healthy activity at the pool, that hopefully it will have a positive effect on our patrons.”
EPODE, RiseVT and the Recreation Department are all working to change our culture so that healthy decisions are easy decisions. When there are only healthy choices, it becomes much simpler to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Viens adds, “It has been the involvement of RiseVT in our community and work place that has helped put health and the choices we make on the front burner. RiseVT has shown how easy and beneficial the smallest of improvements can be in all of our lives. We’re hoping this decision will be supported by the community. We feel it’s the right thing to do.”
Check out all of St. Albans Recreation Departments opportunities at www.stalbansrec.com