Sporting healthier habits for our kids

The true heroes of local sports are the volunteer coaches who impart their skills and wisdom to our kids, the parents who run the committees …and the canteen staff who work tirelessly every weekend feeding hungry players, parents and spectators.

While fried food and sweet treats are a staple for many sporting events, our research found that many clubs want to offer healthier canteen snacks.

Health promotion officer, Sarah, is excited local sports clubs are now sporting healthier food options for local kids.

So in April 2022, Connect Health & Community’s health promotion team launched the 'Healthy Appliance Pack Initiative,' designed to help local sporting clubs in the Glen Eira and Bayside council areas prepare and serve healthier food options each weekend.

The project was designed to help children make better eating choices and create healthy habits for life.

Health promotion officer, Sarah said, “Our research showed sports clubs were looking for ways to make changes to their menus so they could offer healthier options for players, families and visitors.  Our initiative offered local sports clubs small kitchen appliances they could use to prepare and serve healthy and nutritious food and drinks.” 

The program was a great success, providing 38 clubs with cooking appliances – including air fryers, slow cookers, soup kettles, Nutribullets and sandwich presses - to help them create and serve healthier canteen options.

Glen Eira Council praised the initiative as a win for the clubs and kids.

“Glen Eira City Council promotes healthy eating and is proud to support the Vic Kids Eat Well movement.  These healthy appliance packs will assist the clubs in further developing and expanding their healthy option menus - a win for the clubs and a win for our local kids.”

Bayside Council applauded the program.

“Seeing Bayside clubs take up the offer and create healthier canteens for the players and their families has been so rewarding!”

Distribution of the new cooking kit started in June and have received great feedback from all the clubs sporting new appliances.

Over at the East Sandringham Junior Football Club, hot chips are a long-requested canteen snack. Now the club can safely prepare hot chips with no added oil in a new 7.5-litre air fryer.  Jane from ESJF says hot chips at cold winter footy matches will be a welcomed addition to the menu.

Jane – East Sandringham Junior Football Club, pictured with Amanda Murphy, Connect Health & Community CEO

The Caulfield Cricket Club also received a Ninja Duel Zone Air Fryer and hopes to expand its range of healthy hot food.  With more than 200 members, the club is excited to use the air fryer for the upcoming cricket season.

David – Caulfield Cricket Club with Lucy Delahey, Community Connections Lead

Emmanuel at the Ormond Glenhuntly Baseball Club is thrilled with a new air fryer. Before acquiring the air fryer, the club lacked cooking appliances – using only a steamer for dim sims and hot dogs, and a pan for shallow frying.  The club can now ditch the dangers of shallow frying and provide more vegetarian options for members.  The club can mark its 90th anniversary with new canteen options.

Emmanuel – Ormond Glenhuntly Baseball Club

A new popcorn machine for the Beaumaris Lawn Tennis Club means it can now offer cheap, quick and healthy snacks to members. The club also collected a soup kettle and sandwich press to serve hot food throughout winter.

Doone – Beaumaris Lawn Tennis Club

The Bentleigh Junior Football Club is adding smoothies and popcorn to the menu with the addition of a NutriBullet and popcorn machine. Jamie from BJFC hopes the allure of fresh popcorn every Saturday will be a welcomed alternative to chips and pastries. The club also received a slow cooker to prepare warm, hearty meals throughout winter.

Jamie – Bentleigh Junior Football Club

Glen Eira Football Club is the second largest in Victoria, boasting around 1000 members. The canteen currently serves footy classics, including sausages in bread, bacon and egg rolls, muffins and fruit.  A new air fryer will allow the club to expand its menu and offer healthy food for hungry players and spectators.

Stewart – Glen Eira Football Club

The Beaumaris Football Club can now offer its 1,260 members toasted sandwiches and hearty meals through the footy season with the addition of a sandwich press and slow cooker.

Nicki – Beaumaris Football Club

The Healthy Appliance Pack Initiative was part of the State Government program, ‘Vic Kids Eat Well’ designed to improve the eating habits of kids, and was proudly supported by the Bayside City Council and Glen Eira City Council.

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