Confessions from the Concession Stand


Eat my bubbles tattoo on swimmers back.Chris Rosenbloom, PhD, RDN, CSSD

My nephews swim on a local swim team, and at a recent meet I saw a swimmer with “eat my bubbles” painted on her back.  Eating bubbles might have been a better choice than what I saw for sale in the concession stand. Hostess chocolate cupcakes, candy bars, pepperoni pizza, soft drinks, potato chips, gummy candies and chocolate sandwich cookies were all on sale for $1.00. I saw many young swimmers going back and forth from mom or dad’s wallet to the concession stands between races.


I know that concessions are run by swim meet supporters as a way to raise money for the team, but why not raise money by raising the bar on snacks offered to young athletes and to those in attendance? It doesn’t have to be expensive or involve a lot of preparation to offer healthy, tasty foods that will fuel swimmers. Here are my top choices for a concession stand make-over: 

Instead of...  Consider this... 
Chocolate cupcakes  Banana Bread or pudding cups 
Candy bars Granola Bars with rolled oats 
Pepperoni pizza  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches 
Soft drinks  Bottled water, fitness water, or light sports drinks 
Potato chips  Whole grain cheese crackers 
Gummy candies  Raisins or craisins 
Chocolate sandwich cookies  Fig or berry bars 

Other good choices include trail mix (buy or make trail mix and measure ½ cup portions into sandwich bags), frozen grapes, watermelon slices, string cheese sticks, 6-ounce cups of fruited yogurt, soy nuts, cups of mixed berries, and bananas.

So, next swim meet try to replace some of concession stand standards with some new, healthier treats.