Two Johnson Co. fieldhouses feature healthy menus at concession stands

SHAWNEE, Kan. — Nachos, pizza and hot dogs — they’re all food staples at sporting events, but not at some Johnson County concession stands.

The county park and recreation district is rolling out healthier menus at two of its fieldhouses.

At the Okun Fieldhouse, like many sporting facilities, there’s no outside food or drink allowed.  Your only option was to eat junk food from the concession — but not anymore.

Hungry?  How about a jalapeno chicken wrap or turkey sandwich on multi-grain bread.

“French fries aren’t on our menu and people aren’t asking for them, said the park and recreation district’s Jill Geller.

This is no typical concession stand.  Starting January 1, nothing will be fried here.  Nearly everything sold at the stand will be fresh or baked.

And the menu items will feature a calorie count beside them.

“You could still get a cheeseburger or a hamburger, but you see the content and you that that’s the choice that you’re making,” Geller told FOX 4 News.

But is it what people want?

Geiller says the fans prove it by continuing to line up to purchase the new food items.

“We were nervous, because we’re so reliant on the financial success of our concessions to help keep our fees down for people to come into the facilities.  So we were worried about that. But the community’s embraced it and we haven’t seen any decrease in sales and on some weekends we’ve seen an increase,” she explained.

Vollyball mom Betsy Saxer is now a happy customer.

“When I went up there as I came in, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh.’  As a parent to a young athlete, I want to have healthy options for my child, because she’s an athlete trying to perform and we want to have those options available if that’s going to be our choice in the moment,” she said.

The New Century fieldhouse in Gardner also features a healthy menu.

The Johnson County Park and Recreation District said it hopes to expand the healthy menu to its five other concession stands in the future.

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