Professional Development

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BGCA and NRPA to Create Healthier Environments for Kids

Wednesday, 26 February 2014 03:51

In the United States today, more than a third of kids are overweight or obese. On any given day, up to 20% of American children do not consume any fruits, and up to 30% do not consume any vegetables. Two in three do not get enough daily physical activity. At the same time, nearly 15 million school-aged kids are on their own after school. Fortunately, it has been recently announced that two of the nation’s largest providers of low-cost or free out-of-school time activities have committed to create healthier environments for five million kids in their programs.

The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which works with the private sector and PHA Honorary Chair First Lady Michelle Obama to end the childhood obesity epidemic, announced that the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) have committed to create healthier environments for five million kids in their programs.

Over the next five years, BGCA and NRPA will encourage 5,400 sites and Clubs nationwide to adopt strong standards for nutrition and physical activity. Both groups also will encourage their sites to join the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Out-of-School Time initiative, which will provide the process, tools and resources necessary to ensure healthier settings for the kids in their care.

 Specifically, over the next five years, the organizations will:

  • Encourage Clubs and sites to join in the national effort to create healthier environments for children in out-of-school time programs.
    • BGCA will encourage 3,400 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide to join in the national effort to create healthier environments for children in out-of-school time programs.
    • NRPA will encourage 2,000 park and recreation sites to join the national effort to create healthier environments for children in out-of-school time programs.
    • Each Club or site will be encouraged to join the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Out-of-School Time program through the electronic submission of a Healthy Out-of-School Time Inventory, which is built upon The National Afterschool Association Standards for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity and USDA Smart Snacks in School Standards.
    • Encourage Clubs and sites to adopt healthy eating and physical activity standards.
      • BGCA will encourage 3,400 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide to adopt the following standards, which are built upon The National Afterschool Association Standards for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity and USDA Smart Snacks in School Standards and are consistent with the Boys and Girls Club Culture of Wellness Framework.
      • NPRA will encourage 2,000 park and recreation sites nationwide to adopt the following standards, which are built upon The National Afterschool Association Standards for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity and USDA Smart Snacks in School Standards.
      • Standards:
        • Food and Beverages
          • Serve a fruit or vegetable at every snack and meal.
          • Serve only foods with no artificial trans fats.
          • Serve only whole grain-rich products.
          • Serve only non-fat or reduced fat yogurt and cheese.
          • Serve only lean meat, skinless poultry, seafood, beans/legumes or eggs.
          • Serve only packaged snacks or frozen desserts that meet the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards for foods.
          • Provide plain potable water at all times at no cost to youth and staff.
          • Serve only water; plain low-fat milk, plain or flavored nonfat milk or milk alternative; 100% fruit or vegetable juice with no added sweeteners or 100% juice diluted with water with no added sweeteners.
      • Physical Activity
        • Dedicate at least 20% or at least 30 minutes of morning or afterschool program time to physical activity and at least 60 minutes for a full day program.
        • Provide physical activities in which youth are moderately to vigorously active for at least 50% of the physical activity time.
        • Ensure physical activity takes place outdoors whenever possible.
      • Youth and Family Education
        • Offer evidence-based nutrition education to youth.
        • Offer evidence-based education materials about nutrition and physical activity to families through pamphlets, newsletters, email blasts or other means.

Additionally, NRPA has committed to eliminating access to television and movies at its sites, and limiting digital device time to less than an hour a day, used for homework or activities that engage youth in moderate to vigorous physical activity.

To read the full news release, click here.

Source: The Partnership for a Healthier America

 

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