HEPA Standard Spotlights

Meet HEPA
The Standards
Standard Spotlights
HEPA Infographics: Modeling Healthy Habits, Changing Lifestyles

 

Select a success story:

 
Bayside YMCA (Barrington, RI) The Family Y of Augusta (Augusta, GA)


Changes that Make a Difference

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


As a site coordinator who runs the out of school time site at the Bayside YMCA, Christina Pichette serves more than 85 children ranging from kindergarteners to seventh graders. When she first started in her role, she would frequently serve bowls of Goldfish (or other crackers) as a snack, a sugar-sweetened beverage and a fruit. The fruit would quickly go bad, along with her kids’ moods. Right around 5:15 p.m. every day, Christina could count on meltdowns and short attention spans that go hand-in-hand with hungry kids. “Ms. Christina, I’m hungry!” the kids would often say until pickup time.

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.

 



Get Active

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


The Family Y Augusta
used a fun theme to incorporate a number of HEPA standards into their summer camp program. ‘Let’s Get Moving’ was a week devoted to providing campers with extra opportunities to get active and make healthy choices. Campers participated in various physical challenges and tracked their progress throughout the week on a chart. Campers played soccer, kickball and fun relay challenges. Sometimes even parents or caregivers stayed late to participate as well. To bring physical activity home, there were take-home family challenges offered that could earn bonus points toward rewards at the end of the week.

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.

 

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