Better Bites

image011What is Better Bites. Snack Strong?

The Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition partners with groups to  bring healthy food that meets Better Bites nutritional guidelines to the places where youth convene: recreational facilities, sports events, after school programs, school concessions, camps, churches and restaurants.  We’ve  even got a Better Bites bike so we can bring more healthy food to more people in more places.  Our goal is that all places that serve food to Lexington youth will feature healthy options.

Why Better Bites?

It’s pretty simple. If we surround kids with unhealthy food, that’s what they’ll eat. If there is healthy food in their homes, schools and communities, that’s what they’ll eat. According to Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention (2012), an expert report from the Institute of Medicine, increasing access to healthy food is a key strategy for reducing obesity.

In addition, there’s a disconnect when the places where children engage in physical activity serve high calorie junk food. Youth can actually gain weight at the pool if they eat typical pool concessions.BB RE

Where Are Better Bites?

Better Bites at Lexington Parks and Recreation Pools
Lexington public pools  were the first to offer Better Bites. Click here to see a 5 minute video about it.  In 2011, Lexington Parks and Recreation added 8 healthy items to their concession stand menu. In 2012 they expanded the healthy options further, making half of their menu items Better Bites. Currently, Better Bites are offered at Woodland, Southland, Castlewood and Shillito pools. The 2013 menu is even better with more healthy and delicious options. For more information check out our reports from the first two years.   Better Bites Rethinking Concession Stand Food 2011 and Better Bites Snack Strong Report Year Two

In 2014, fresh fruit outsold chicken nuggets by 3-to-1 at Lexington public pools.  See more here: Better Bites Report_Summer 2014 (2)

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Parks and Recreation Concession Stand Menu 2013

Better Bites in Youth Groups

Imagine if the adults who led youth groups in Lexington  incorporated healthy food and active games into their schedules.  Lexington kids would see healthy habits as the new normal and childhood obesity could be reduced. To bring this vision into reality we hold Better Bites in Youth Group workshops  that give adults who lead youth activities practical, youth-tested ideas for incorporating healthy food and active movement into their youth group activities.  Representatives rom Fayette County Public Schools, arts organizations, Girl Scouts, KY Refuge Ministries, medical clinics, YMCA, and Parks and Recreation have attended the workshops, to name a few. Attendees receive a produce preparation bag and a  nifty card ring with our best nutrition and activity ideas. Then they get  the chance to try them out with yogurt parfait relays, veggie cutting demos, a quesadilla party, tips from our Fru-Gal, rolling chair races and more. Organizaitons who sign up as Better Bites partners received water fruit infusion dispensers, smoothie makers and veggie cone display stands. To come to a future workshop, contact Emily DeWitt.

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Better Bites in Youth Group Training


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Better Bites in Youth Groups Card Deck

Here are the PDF versions of the Better Bites in Youth Groups card decks.

BB tool kit cards physical activity BB tool kit cards snacks

Better Bites  “Good to Go ” Bike

We’re peddling (or should say pedaling)  healthy food around Lexington on our Better Bites Good to Go Bike, the first food bike in Lexington. Good to Go is like an ice cream truck, only better!   Our menu changes weekly. Most recently we served cold, crisp Veggie Dippers with Light Dressing,  Homemade Hummus with Cucumber Chips, Limesicles (made with lime and avocado) Frozen Red Grapes, Pistachio Nuts  and Chocolate/Almond Protein Bars. We use local produce whenever possible.    And everything on the Better Bites Bike is just a buck!  Not only is the bike stocked with healthy food, it also houses fun physical activity equipment –jump ropes, hula hoops, duct tape balls)–and a good sound system so can adjust the play list to the venue.  Follow us on Facebook Snack.Strong or Twitter Snack_Strong to see where the Better Bites Bike we’ll be next.  Contact for more info or if you’d like Good to Go to come to you. To read an article about the bike click here.

Just for the record– the Better Bites Good to Go Bike is  not a food truck.  We fall in the Peddler Category, meaning we’re on the move.   We don’t stop and set up shop, we just pedal around and go places we’re invited.

  • Better Bites Good to Go Bike is the first food bike in Lexington.
  • Pedaling snacks--a great way to exercise!
  • Better Bites snacks--watermelon, lime-sicles, chocolate bananas and hummus and veggies.
  • Better Bites at East 7th Street Community Center
  • Better Bites pit stop.
  • Anita asking youth what snacks they like best.
  • The Good To Go Bike also carries physical activity equipment and a sound system with great playlists.
  • Hula hooping after snacking strong.
  • LTMS campers lining up for Better Bites.
  • Snacking strong on frozen grapes.

Better Bites at KY State Park Resorts

The children’s menu at all 17 KY State Park Resorts feature Better Bites. Now instead of automatically serving French fries with every kid’s meal, a bowl of fresh fruit is on the side.


For more information about Kentucky’s great parks check out

Better Bites at Lexington Legends Whitaker Bank Ball Park

The Whitaker Bank Ballpark, home of the Lexington Legends minor league bimage013aseball team, adopted the Better Bites brand in 2012 and serves only Better Bites items in the children’s area of the park. Visiting youth groups automatically receive Better Bites as part of their ticket price and over 1,000 hot dogs, French fries, and soda combo meals have been replaced by the healthier menu.


Better Bites at Beaumont YMCA Pool

The Tiki Zone at the Beaumont YMCA pool also adopted the brand in 2012 and had strong sales on Better Bites items.

Better Bites at School Snack Shops

Southern Middle School’s Yum Yum Shop has sold candy and chips to students at the end of the school day for many years as a way to raise funds for school clubs. In Spring 2013 they  transformed the Yum Yum shop to a Better Bites. SnackStrong  venue.  For more information about this extreme makeover read this article in the Lexington Herald Leader.  Contact Emily DeWitt to receive technical assistance in starting a Better Bites shop at your school.  You can also refer to this handbook:  Bringing Better Bites to Your School Snack Shop.

See the menu:  Yum yum shop flyer (final)

  • Southern Middle students making healthy choices at the Yum Yum shop
  • An enthusiastic parent volunteer
  • Jocelyn and Lisa trying to contain the "mosh pit for munchies"
  • Satisfied Yum Yum shop patrons
  • Fresh veggies
  • Strawberry banana smoothies and fruit replace chips and candy the shop used to sell.

Better Bites in After School Programs

The YMCA after school programs offer Better Bites snacks.

Better Bites Goes to Camp

In a 2011 survey of Lexington parents, 88% said they would like to have healthier foods offered at the camps their children attend.  The Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition is excited to offer  Better Bites to local camps. We help interested camp administrators design an exciting, healthy and feasible menu tailored to the camp and campers, link them to food suppliers that provide healthy items, and promote their  camp as a Better Bites camp. All of this is provided at no cost.

Better Bites Serving Healthy Food to Lexington Campers

Parent Guide to Summer Camp Nutrition

What are the Nutritional Requirements for Better Bites?

Click here to see the nutrition requirements for food to qualify for the Better Bites. Snack Strong program.

Better Bites in the News

Lexington Herald Leader

Progress Lex

Shaping KY’s Future Local Success Stories

Better Bites: Restaurant Edition

Click here to learn about Better Bites: Restaurant Edition.

Join us!  Become a Part of the Better Bites. Snack Strong Movement.

If you would like to serve healthier food to youth and use the Better Bites brand, graphics and support, please contact Emily DeWitt for more details.