New nutritional and physical activity guidelines
for out-of-school programs were unveiled by the Healthy Out-of-School Time (HOST) Coalition this week. Recommendations for programs include serving more fruits and vegetables, offering water as the preferred drink option and dedicating 20 percent or at least 30 minutes of program time to physical activity.
Out-of-school programs include before and after school programs, day camps and overnight camps. More than 8 million children take part in such programs at least three hours a day, the HOST coalition found. The new recommendations are intended for programs for children of all ages, from kindergarten through 12th grade.
The coalition is made up of leaders from groups such as the National Institute on Out-of-School Time at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College, the University of Massachusetts Boston and the YMCA of the USA. The standards are based on a comprehensive research project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (full disclosure: PreventObesity.net is a project of RWJF.)
to find out more about the new standards.