Shawnee YMCA concession stand adds healthy options through collaborative campaign

Vicky O. Misa
The Shawnee News-Star
A recent ribbon-cutting ceremony signified added healthy eating options at the YMCA's concession stand.

Shawnee Family YMCA is adding healthy food and beverage options to its concession stands.

During Avedis Health Week recently, some Blue Zones Project-approved organizations — the Shawnee YMCA, SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee and Oklahoma Baptist University — announced a collaborative campaign to offer healthy options at the sites.

The concession stands are open to the public during League Games during the baseball, football, cheer and soccer seasons.

With success during the outdoor sports seasons, the YMCA is looking to expand the concession stand offerings to the indoor sports concession stands.

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The idea was sparked by SSM Health Medical Group Registered Dietitian Andrea Beck when she said she noticed an opportunity for healthy snacks while attending games at the Shawnee Family YMCA baseball fields. She also sits on the YMCA board of directors.

“The goal for athletes is to jump higher, run faster, kick the ball harder, etc.,” Beck said. “Our kids must fuel their bodies with real food, not junk.”

Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) was an easy choice to support the effort and inspire young athletes, she said.

“It’s an honor for our outstanding OBU student athletes to be included in this campaign,” Brian Dude, OBU associate athletic director, said. “We’re excited to join with these community partners to help inspire the next generation to make healthy choices and reach their incredible potential.”

Posing for banner photos, OBU athletes held fresh fruits and vegetables and bottles of water to encourage young athletes to play and eat like an athlete.

With support from SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee, the banners now hang around the YMCA baseball fields.

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“We love to promote and encourage a healthy lifestyle to all ages in our community, but especially the younger generation,” SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee President Angi Mohr said. “The banner featuring OBU athletes is a fun way to show the next generation how important healthy eating is.”

New additions to the YMCA concession stand menu include fresh fruits, granola bars and trail mix, and non-sugar-sweetened beverages.

A YMCA banner promoting healthy eating.

For story ideas, questions or concerns, reporter Vicky O. Misa can be reached at vicky.misa@news-star.com.