HEPA Standard Spotlights
Select a success story:
Bayside YMCA (Barrington, RI)
“Ever since the switch, I have noticed that the kids at my site are able to focus longer. Gone are the days of the ‘5:15 p.m. meltdown.’ I am happy knowing that I am feeding my kids good, nutritious, healthy foods to keep their bodies and minds strong.”
– Christina Pichette, Bayside YMCA
Christina and the rest of the staff decided to incorporate the HEPA standards into their program to offer a better snack that would not only be healthier, but keep them full longer. Along with nutritious foods, they wanted to provide organic and locally-grown items as well. One of the first changes was serving water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. Another early switch was a visit to the local fruit stand to provide fresh vegetables as their snack. The Bayside Y also switched to a local dairy provider for low-fat milk and yogurt. Recently, the Bayside Y began working with two other distributors to provide healthier options for all.
The Family Y of Augusta (Augusta, GA)
“The ‘Let’s Get Moving’ week helped both our campers and Y staff become more aware of what they eat on a daily basis, and helped to identify more opportunities for daily activity.”
– Elaine Cupp, The Family Y of Augusta
As part of the program, campers were also welcomed to prepare their own healthy meals. They were encouraged to explore and create different healthy options with ingredients the Y provided. This helped campers understand how they can actively make healthier meal and snack choices, both at camp and at home. As campers were challenged each day to create unique foods from the ingredients provided, a contest emerged between campers and staff to see who could come up with the best combination of foods. Not only were they interested in what they were eating and how it tasted, but they were also creative about the presentation of the food.
Prior to the program, staff members would come in the morning and bring unhealthy or fast food to eat. Now, staff members at The Family Y of Augusta practice HEPA role modeling and bring fresh fruit and healthier lunch choices to camp. Parents and caregivers were welcome to come and play, or watch Healthy Living plays performed by campers, which gave families a better sense of HEPA and its importance at The Family Y of Augusta.