Camp Directors Guided to Establish Eating and Drinking Policies
As responsible leaders, the Raritan Valley YMCA and our Healthier Middlesex coalition has used this summer Healthy Kids Camp project as a teachable moment for local camp directors and their management teams. Reminding them that the primary responsibility of our work is to assure the health and safety of children while delivering recreational and activities that make the summer fun helps make policy change real! Through engaging camps in this project, we have positioned them so that they can effectively evaluate their food and drink policies at camp. Camps typically provide wonderful physical activities but should also assume responsibilities for healthy meals and snacks whether served by the camp or brought from home. Think about, not serving sugary sweet beverages, fried foods and fruits, vegetables and cold water instead. The 9 particpating camps are encouraged to message parents on healthy food policies and adjust camp snack servings or menus. Parents at the Raritan Valley YMCA receive a parent hand book that spells out the Y’s food, drink and physical activity policies and habits we embrace.
One of our successes this summer was when a parent sent a Ninga turtle fruit platter (see photo) to camp for the child’s birthday instead of cake or pizza! Nine camps have signed on in Middlesex County, including a municipal summer camp program who’s MOU came via a resolution that was passed by the Borough of Milltown! Success again, in engaging local policy makers! Overall success has been achieved with our project partners who have visited camps to reinforce policy thoughts and deliver programs in healthy eating, drowning prevention, bicycle and walking safety, sun protection, and healthy cooking. Kudos to the team: coalition members, policy makers and camp directors as we embark on creating a healthier atmosphere and lasting policies at camp!
About the Grantee
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. To learn more about the Raritan Valley YMCA programs, health and wellness, visit www.raritanvalleyymca.org or call 732-257-4114. The Y is located at 144 Tices Lane in East Brunswick.