Healthy Eating and Physical Activity State and Local Policy
The Afterschool Alliance is working as part of Voices for Healthy Kids, an initiative of the American Heart Association and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to build a consortium around increasing children's physical activity and access to nutritious meals in Out-of-Time school settings. The Out-of-School Time Consortium creates healthier OST programs by increasing access to healthy foods and more time for children to participate in health promoting physical activity.
The OST Consortium will work to advance the following policy lever:
- Pursue policy change that requires out-of-school time programs to intergrate healthy eating and physical activity (HEPA) standards into recognition programs, accreditation programs, certification, and rating systems.
OST Consortium Advisory Organizations:
Alliance for Healthier Generation
Boys and Girls Club of America
California Afterschool Network
Coalition for Community Schools
Food and Research Action Center
Girls on the Run-Montgomery County
National Afterschool Association
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
National Institute of Out of School Time
National Recreation and Parks
Save the Children
South Carolina Afterschool Alliance
Texas Partnership for Out of School Time
Voices for Healthy Kids/American Heart Association
YMCA of the USA
An integral part of our Voices for Healthy Kids' out-of-school time consortium is continual support of our out of school time leaders' efforts in the field. To ensure that practitioners stay abreast of the latest and greatest research, resources and campaign strategies to create healthier environments, Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center is building a national network to promote healthy lifestyles for our children in order to ensure they grow up at a healthy weight. Whether it’s going to your local afterschool program to push for more physical activity and healthier food choices, joining your state’s afterschool healthy coalition, or taking part in a national day of action like Lights On Afterschool, you can play a part in this movement.
Anyone who is actively working in his or her community to change policies and environments so all children can grow up at a heathy weight can get involved. Join today!
Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Guidelines and Education
- The Healthy Out of School Time (HOST) Coalition is an excellent source of program level resources and tools to promote active lifestyles in afterschool and summer learning programs, including the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity standards. This document provides up to date, evidence-based, practical quality standards for providing children with healthy food, beverages and physical activity in out-of-school time (OST).
- Healthy Eating in Out-of-School Time: The Promise and the Challenge - NIOST researchers used qualitative research methods to explore healthy eating concepts among OST program administrators, examined their perception of the importance of the childhood obesity epidemic in relation to their mission, explored perceived barriers to serving healthful foods and the potential utility of guidelines and other managerial supports in helping programs adopt healthy eating practices.
- Afterschool: Key to Health and Wellness for Pre-teens and Teens (2010) - Afterschool Alliance and MetLife Issue Brief shows how afterschool programs provide a place for youth to be physically active, while teaching them to make positive choices for themselves.
- The Quaker Chewy "Get Active: Be Healthy Afterschool Toolkit" offers creative, easy-to-implement ways to integrate health and wellness into afterschool programs, including lesson plans, ideas for field trips and guest speakers, links to funding resources and more.
- Let's Move! Active Schools is working to ensure that every school provides a comprehensive physical activity program with quality physical education as the foundation so that youth will develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime. Visit the website to find a roadmap for developing an active school, as well as tools, resources and action items to improve and bolster your program's physical fitness offerings.
- Center for Collaborative Solutions (CCS) has a useful guide called Changing Lives, Saving Lives: A Step-by-Step Guide to Developing Exemplary Practices in Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Food Security in Afterschool Programs.
- Visit the Harvard Family Research Project's Out-of-School Time Program Evaluation Bibliography and Database. It is a searchable database of evaluations of out-of-school time programs, including those related specifically to health, sports and recreation.
- Policies and Standards for Promoting Physical Activity in After-School Programs - This brief summarizes research on physical activity in afterschool programs and examines how policies can help afterschool programs more effectively promote physical activity and prevent obesity among children.
- The U.S. National Physical Activity Plan includes strategy 5 under the Education platform: provide access to and opportunities for physical activity before and after school.
Afterschool Alliance HEPA Resources
Reports and Issue Briefs: