Kids in Santa Clara County are eating more fruits and veggies, eating more whole grains, and getting more exercise!
Catholic Charities Santa Clara County (CCSCC) is delivering SNAP-Ed programs in 22 afterschool program sites in the Santa Clara County. In partnership with the CORAL Afterschool Program, SNAP-Ed is helping young people make healthy choices. CORAL is an afterschool extended learning program that targets foster children and at-risk youth by encouraging literacy and providing homework help.
SNAP-Ed surveyed 88 youth participants, using the 2014 Youth Pre-Post Survey tool. Some of the significant results are:
- Kids ate more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- More kids ate breakfast in the morning.
- Kids did vigorous physical activity on more days of the week
Program at a Glance
CCSCC’s SNAP-Ed program is using many strategies to encourage these healthy behaviors:
Direct Nutrition Education
SNAP-Ed Staff are doing direct nutrition education activities like the Serving Up MyPlate: A Yummy Curriculum, taste testing using the Children’s Power Play, Taste It! campaign, and exposing kids to new fruits and veggies through Harvest of the Month.
Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change (PSE)
The program has made many positive PSE changes. Some sites have partnered with FitKids and the H.I.T.S. Tennis Program (Honest, Inspiration, Teamwork, Sportsmanship) to provide the equipment that encourages more physical activity and exercise opportunities.
Another improvement has been serving Infused Water (water flavored with pieces of real fruit) during CORAL community events and field days. These options encourage the kids to drink more water and fewer sugary drinks when they are thirsty. The program worked with the Franklin-McKinley School District to implement school wellness standards that include water stations on campus, a school salad bar, and posters with healthy messages in the lunchroom.
Lead SNAP-Ed Staff members have been working to create a publication called Healthy Food and Beverage Policies and Guidelines for SNAP-Ed Funded Sites. These guidelines will be adopted by the CCSC CORAL program sites. It will serve as a tool for the CORAL program to use when hosting events that serve food. One site has already made changes! Before SNAP-Ed, if a class won a contest, they would celebrate with a fast food pizza party or have an ice cream sundae bar. Now, because of changes to food incentive guidelines, classes celebrate with healthier foods. They win things like a yogurt bar with fresh fruit as toppings. It has been a success. The kids are just as excited about the healthier options and learn how delicious healthy choices can be!
This article was submitted by Catholic Charities Santa Clara County’s SNAP-Ed Program. Questions can be directed to Elisa.