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Community YMCA

Healthy Eating & Physical Activity (HEPA)

CHOICES WITHIN LIMITS

Kids thrive when their physical, cognitive and social-emotional development is nurtured. By creating more healthy choices, the Y’s Healthy Eating Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards lay the foundation for a positive youth development journey


photo credit: Brent WallaceBased, in part, on years of research with key partners, the HEPA Standards will build a healthier future for our nation’s children by creating environments that promote healthy eating and physical activity.

You can review this snapshot of HEPA Standards or download a PDF version here.

For updated information take a look at our Winter HEPA News!

Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards

Role Modeling Y staff will model healthy eating and active living.

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
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
photo credit: Mark WiemersOffer 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.

Infant Feeding Adults who work with infants and their families should promote and support exclusive breastfeeding for six months and continuation of breastfeeding in conjunction with complementary foods for one year or more.
CARING. HONESTY. RESPECT. RESPONSIBILITY.