Did you know that children may gain weight two to three times faster during the summer than during the school year? Summer leaves many children in low-income communities at greater risk for food insecurity and obesity. Helping kids build healthy habits demands a year-round focus.
Nutrition education and summer meal programs are perfect partners. This partnership enables summer meal providers to:
- Complement serving healthy meals with information to help children and their families make healthy choices.
- Provide activities at summer meal sites that are engaging and fun.
- Initiate nutrition education plans that can be continued and expanded during the school year.
- Create opportunities to engage community partners and volunteers.
Nutrition Education Resources
Not sure where to start? Watch our webinar that provides a guide to planning and implementing nutrition education as part of your summer meal program. California Department of Education’s offers practical suggestions and tips to help summer meal providers integrate nutrition education into their programs.
California Department of Public Health’s Network for a Healthy California offers a range of nutrition education resources to suit the needs of your program. The Children’s Power Play! Campaign offers a comprehensive curriculum for elementary school age children; the Harvest of the Month curriculum makes an excellent companion to introduce a Farm to School program using fresh, summer fruits and vegetables; and Rethink Your Drink . Other nutrition education resources are available from CANFIT, California After School Network, and Team California for Healthy Kids.
Want to see it in practice? Learn how the Redwood Empire Food Bank engaged kids with Children’s Power Play activities or get ideas about how your program can help children and their families cut back on sugar-sweetened beverages.