The Monaro Panthers are shaking up their canteen
Monaro Panthers Football Club (MPFC) is a Premier League club for all ages and ranges of ability from MiniRoos to National Premier League firsts. They have players from Queanbeyan, Canberra, Jerrabomberra, Googong, Bungendore, Sutton, Michaelago and surrounding regions. The club has been going strong since the mid 1970’s and they currently have around 900 members. Club President Daniel Watts said they decided to take part in the Finish With The Right Stuff healthy eating program as part of Good Sports. They’d been making changes to their canteen menu recently and realised it wouldn’t be difficult for them to step it up a notch and make a few more changes to make their club canteen even healthier.
Happy and healthy members
“Surprisingly, bringing in more healthy options has really helped our club through an increase in canteen sales. I think our members want something a bit more satisfying,” he said.
The Panthers still have their old favourites, such as the sausage sanga, but now have new options like a steak salad roll, lean beef burger and veggie burgers. They have moved items such as chocolate bars and chips off the front counter and replaced them with fruit and other healthy snacks.
With the help of the Good Sports Healthy Eating program, the club decided to get rid of all the pastry items as a business decision because handling and storage was a challenge, but their members don’t seem to miss them at all. People like the options with salad in them and the lean beef burger is the canteen’s new bestselling item.
Switching from large sizes of iced tea and fruit juice to smaller sizes has increased drinks sales. Daniel explained that this is because the juices are more kid-friendly in a smaller package. Families love the low-fat mini flavoured milks too and water is their most purchased drink.
“Previously, I would have said that the lean beef burger was the best out of the new menu items, but I tried the veggie burger last week and I think that’s my new favourite!” said Daniel.
Leading by example
The thing Daniel loves most about the Panthers is the family atmosphere. There are always lots of families around and it’s very welcoming. The new canteen items are more appealing to parents and kids too.
“The club committee believes that we are in a position to be an influence on the younger generation. Healthy kids become healthy adults, and providing good food choices is just one aspect to a healthy life,” said Daniel.
“To young people wanting to eat healthier, I’d say just give it a try. Variety is the spice of life.”