Local parks and recreation centers are great places for kids to get fit, and thanks to a partnership between the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and PHA, many are doing just that.
Three years ago, NRPA launched its Commit to Health initiative, promising that the kids under their care would gain access to healthier food as well as greater opportunities to get up and get moving.
NRPA is one of the nation’s largest providers of out-of-school-time care, offering before- and after-school programs and summer camps to kids nationwide. Over the past three years, more than 1,250 sites have joined the Commit to Health initiative, providing healthier meals and increased physical activity for 228,000 youth.
Of the 839 NRPA centers who filled out a recent survey, 100 percent reported participation in the program’s goals to meet Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards developed by the National AfterSchool Association. Ninety-seven percent dedicate at least thirty minutes of their programming time to physical activity, ensuring these activities take place outdoors as often as possible. Ninety percent limit digital device time to less than an hour.
When it comes time for meals and snacks, the majority (73 percent) only serve foods with no artificial transfats. Most serve a fruit or vegetable at every snack and meal (85 percent), serve nonfat or reduced fat dairy products (89 percent), and water (90 percent), which comes free of charge to both youth and staff.
Whether there for a full day, half day or a summer day, kids who spend time in local park programs can be sure they’ll find good, healthy fun.
228,000 youth have access to healthier meals and increased physical activity in 1,250 sites that have joined NRPA's Commit to Health initiative