Healthy Summer Fun at the Ginny Duenkel Pool
The Ginny Duenkel Pool is in the midst of its 51st pool season this year. During all of those seasons, many things have changed including the new food products in 1967 that are common today. In 1967, Gatorade, Fiddle Faddle and the Big Mac were all introduced. While all of these items are still popular today, they are no longer the essential drinks and foods of the summer season.
For many families planning on a day at the pool, the pre-packaged snacks and fast food restaurants were the key to getting out the door and to the pool for some summer fun. While at the pool, the allure of the deep fried foods was also enchanting to many. As families have become more knowledgeable in food and nutritional value, there have been more informed decisions made about summer lunches and snacks.
When out in the sun 51 years ago, most people would reach for a refreshing soda pop or Gatorade to quench their thirst. In 2018, more people are bringing their own water out with them in reusable containers or purchasing bottled water. No longer are the sugary beverages the first choice after a swim or playing with your friends by the pool.
As time spent eating lunch was time out of the pool and not having fun, most families opted for the quickest thing they could find. This often led to pre-packaged bags of snacks and food from the closest fast food restaurant. There were also endless summer lunches of chicken fingers and french fries from the snack bar. With the introduction of the Healthy Food Choices menu, patrons had the option for quick and healthy snacks and food items from the pool snack bars. While chicken fingers and french fries remained popular, they became special treats as opposed to daily eats. Many families started opting for fruit cups as snacks and salads or grilled chicken for lunch. As we neared the end of the summer, the fruit cup quickly became one of the more popular items.
Just as the pool water served as a break from the summer heat while in the water, the fruit cup became a refreshing break from the summer heat while out of the water. This healthy snack now served a dual purpose for all who enjoyed it. This pleasant surprise would not have been possible without the initiative to promote and offer healthy food at the Ginny Duenkel Pool.
About the Grantee
The West Orange Recreation Department offers year round programming for residents of the Township. One of the most popular programs is the Ginny Duenkel Pool which has nearly 50,000 visitors in the summer season.
Cohort: North 3
Funder: New Jersey Department of Health
Cities: West Orange