With traditional school back in full swing, I thought it would be a good idea to cover some healthy practices that your department should adopt for your out of school time programs. Whether it is before and after school care, or a track out camp program, this wellness blog will give you some ideas to implement healthy practices.
The first practice to consider is adopting the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (AHG) Healthy Out of School Time Standards (HOST). According to the AHG website, the HOST standards “gives out-of-school time providers a science-based framework designed to help create environments where youth are encouraged to eat healthier and move more.” The website continues to say “Our initiative works to support the staff, families, and youth at these sites (Afterschool programs, community centers, summer camps, and other out-of-school time settings) around the country in their efforts to help young people make healthy life choices.
To assist in the adoption of HOST standards in your department, there are a few steps to take. First, take the HOST assessment. This assessment helps your department identify current strengths and weaknesses for 11 Healthy Eating and Physical Activity standards.
To learn more about the HOST Standards, click this link to read the wellness blog post from March.
NCRPA’s Wellness Initiative has also compiled resources to help in offering healthy snacks to the children in your programs. First, there’s the Healthy Snacks Guidelines page on the Wellness Toolkit. This page provides guidelines for selecting healthy options to have for children in your programs, as well as other resources to help you incorporate healthy snacks into your department.
Additionally, check out our NCRPA Wellness Webinar from 2014. This webinar expands on the information in the wellness toolkit and will give you more information on offering healthy snacks in your out of school time programming.
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has developed healthy eating and physical activity standards for children grades K-12 that are in before-school, after-school, and summer camp program through their Commit to Health program. These standards include a number of physical activity and healthy eating goals. For a summarized version of the standards, visit the NCRPA Wellness Toolkit.
I hope that this wellness blog has given you some resources to help with your back to school programming!