A CAFE in Ballarat's newest sporting stadium is set to break the mould on snacks and drink offerings.
Healthy choice guidelines, promoting best choice foods and water, will come into play at Ballarat Sports and Events Centre from the outset when it opens mid-year. The Minerdome's Hoops Cafe and bistro and the canteen in the existing BSEC facilities will also come into line with changes.
Basketball Ballarat has been working closely with Monash University dietetics masters students on bringing in the widespread changes similar to those in Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre and YMCA pools in the Grampians.
The new menu will aim to increase healthier food choices by 46 per cent to what is on offer in existing Basketball Ballarat food services - and cutting back foods deemed for limited consumption, like deep-fried foods, by 58 per cent.
Basketball Ballarat operations manager Mark Valentine said change was driven by chance to re-look at all services for the new stadium.
"We're heavily focused on sport as a health pursuit. Food and drink should be aligned to that," Mr Valentine said.
When we talk elite sport, we spend a lot of time talking nutrition, but our food outlets are not reflecting that for all athletes.
Monash students, under Ballarat Community Health, found eight of 10 people wanted to purchase healthier food and drink at the Minerdome and BSEC. Many said there was too much deep-fried food.
Healthy choices uses a traffic lights-style colour-coded system - green, amber and red - to help guide customers. Green food and drink will be more prominently displayed in cabinets and in eye-sight for children.
Healthier options being subbed in will include:
- fresh salads
- soups for winter
- snack packs with hummus
- and, hard-boiled eggs, which have proven particularly popular among children at Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre
"We think basketball stadiums support a healthy lifestyle and good food can support an active lifestyle too," Monash student Maduri Ragunathan said.
The Ballarat program is based healthier choices guidelines implemented at Western Leisure in Werribee the Lara pool and Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.
Monash students said early responses among stadium-goers in Ballarat had been positive.
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