While kids are participating in YMCA programs and services, they benefit from the standards, curriculum and initiatives the Y has put in place to help ensure equitable health outcomes for young people.
Farm to YMCA
Bringing intentionality to gardening and the farm-to-table concept, this Y initiative provides core elements for kids in early childhood programs:
- Local food sourcing in meals and snacks
- Experiential learning activities, like gardening
- Culinary activities and food-related education
Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA)
At the Y we aspire to meet the HEPA standards . Based on research with key partners, the HEPA standards help to build a healthier future for our children by creating environments rich in opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity.
The HEPA standards:
- Encourage physical play and movement throughout the day
- Define food and beverage offerings, offering water as the primary beverage and offering fruits and vegetables with every meal and as snack options
- Limit the amount of screen time
- Educate parents about healthy living behaviors to incorporate at home
- Add role modeling for YMCA Team Members
Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) curriculum
CATCH is a nationally recognized and evidence-based program with over 25 years of experience bringing physical activity and healthy eating to preschoolers through middle schoolers in a way that’s fun, inclusive and engaging.
CATCH is designed to promote physical activity and healthy food choices and engage families and communities. The CATCH curriculum includes:
- Movement and physical activities
- Hands-on snack preparation
- Reduced screen time
- Inclusivity and teamwork
- Family fun nights