Healthy Eating Physical Activity

Meet HEPA

First lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) raised the call; the Y answered it. As part of our focus on developing healthy habits in kids, families and our communities, we have committed to adopting standards for healthy eating and physical activity (HEPA) in our early learning and afterschool programs.

HEPA Standards

Family Engagement
Physical Activity
Screen Time
Family Engagement

Engage parents/caregivers using informational materials and/or activities focused on healthy eating and physical activity a minimum of once a quarter.

Physical Activity

Ensure that children engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity for half-day programs and 60 minutes for full-day programs, including a mix of moderate and vigorous physical activities that promote bone and muscle strengthening. Play will take place daily outdoors whenever possible.

Screen Time

Eliminate screen time for children under two years of age. For children over two, screen time is limited to less than 30 minutes per day for children in half-day programs and less than one hour per day for those in full-day programs.

Food
Beverages
Role Modeling
Food

Serve fruits or vegetables at every meal and snack. Children serve themselves (family-style). No partially hydrogenated oils (trans fat), fried or pre-fried foods. Serve whole grains when grains are served. Serve foods free of sugar as one of the first three ingredients or less than eight grams of added sugar.

Beverages

Offer water at the table during every meal and accessible at all times. Serve only water and plain, low-fat (one percent) or non-fat milk.

Role Modeling

All YMCA staff and volunteers will model healthy eating and active living.

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