There has been a great trend in the health club industry over the past decade to cater programs to families within the club, realizing the importance of providing programs specific to kids of all ages. Although, these kid’s programs are helping to fight the childhood obesity epidemic, I see a big gap in the success of these programs. It’s wonderful that fitness centers are creating programs and a positive atmosphere for the younger crowd, but I have to ask: Is anyone concerned about providing them with proper nutrition?
By taking a few simple steps to create a Kid’s Nutritional Program, you will see two great benefits for the club. First, the parents at your club will appreciate the initiative and ease of getting nutrient-dense products for their kids. Second, the addition of the programs can add great value to your club’s bottom line.
Let’s dive in a little deeper and look at why kid’s need nutrition.Simply put, kids are growing, cells are dividing and regenerating at an incredible rate, and the nutrients in food are the building blocks of strong cells. What kids eat today are the bricks and mortar for their adulthood. Kids need nutrition as much as we do, in fact, I could argue that they need it more. All children have certain nutritional needs required by their growing bodies. Relative to adults, they have a higher rate of cellular and physiological responses and they need nutrition now.
Currently, most parents are rushing out of the club with their kids, driving to the most convenient drive thru and feeding their kids nutrient deficient, calorie laden, imitation processed food products. I am sure any parent would not be proud to admit this, but timing is a factor and they want their kids to be happy and healthy. What they are not realizing is that they are setting the trend for poor eating habits for the rest of their kids’ lives.
This is where you, the health club enters the picture. Think about it, the purpose of your institution is to help people achieve total fitness. Everyone knows that total fitness is achieved by practicing good exercise and healthy eating habits. If you don’t teach parents how, what and when to feed their kids, who is going to? Help your members take charge of the foods they put in their kids’ bodies. Be the education resource and whole-food supplier of nutrient dense, easy, on-the-go products. Teaching your members about proper nutrition for the whole family now can make a big difference and help everyone stay healthy for life.
Easy steps to implement a Kids Nutritional Program.
The great news is that it is really easy to incorporate a kid’s nutritional program into your club. Those of you who have juice bars — use them wisely. Juice bars can provide healthy food options, while educating parents on why their kids need nutrient dense calories at the right times.
1. Create a Smoothie Menu for Kids, making it easy for parents to quickly and easily grab a nutritious, nutrient dense meal in a cup.
2. Create a sampling program, offering small shake samples, with the parent’s consent of course, allowing the kids to taste the sun sweet berries themselves.
3. Create a marketing campaign that includes educating parents on the importance of nutrition for their kids through posters, tri-folds, counter cards, etc.
If you do not have a juice bar, there are many healthy prepackaged meals that clubs can easily sell right at the counter for a low cost. Providing nutrition for kids isn’t difficult. All you need to do is inform parents that you have healthy options for their kids. Let them know why your meals are different and make them easy to access.
The profit potential of offering healthy food choices in a health club for the whole family can be enormous, not to mention that member retention can see a big boost if you provide a solution to one of life’s challenges, healthy eating. As a health club owner, you have the opportunity to truly make a difference for the whole family.
Kristin Ritter is Marketing Director of Performance Food Centers, Corp. for more information contact PFC at 1.888.PFC.9151 or visit http://www.performacefoodcenters.com.