The YMCA is expanding its longtime commitment to children and youth by adopting a set of Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards (HEPA).  These standards will build a healthier future for our nation’s children by providing healthy environments rich in opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity. The Y is one of the nation’s largest providers of childcare and afterschool programs. Now we want to be the healthiest.

The Old Colony YMCA has made a commitment to children and youth by adopting the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards. These are the goals for nutrition and physical activity in our Before and After school programs, Child Care sites Camps and Summer Fun Clubs.

  • Provide all children with at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. The program insures that all afterschool child care participants get a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity a day and take advantage of outdoor activities weather permitting. Free activity, tummy time for infants is scheduled every day. Outdoor play for infants may include a carriage or stroller ride.
  • Offer 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity 3 times per week.
  • Do not serve sugary drinks and do not allow sugary drinks to be brought in during program time. All sugar sweetened beverages, such as sodas, juices, or energy drinks are not allowed to be consumed at the Y program site. Milk is always unflavored and 1% for children over 2 years of age.
  • Infant feeding. We support breast feeding and welcome breastfeeding mothers. If you would like to breastfeed in the center, we will ensure that you have a comfortable and private area in which to feed your child.
  • Offer water as a drink every day.  Water is available at all times during program hours.
  • Offer a fruit or vegetable at every meal and snack. Fruits can be fresh, frozen, canned or dried, without any added salt or sweetener.
  • Serve only whole grains.
  • Do not serve foods with trans-fat. We ask all parents to refrain from packing fried foods, and foods high in sugar and saturated fats, such as chips, cookies, gummies, fried chicken nuggets, etc.
  • Meals are served family style. Teaching children to pass food will help enhance self-help skills along with social skills.
  • Computer and digital device time is limited to homework and instructional use only.
  • We encourage parents to have their children participate in our food program. Our Y will provide family/parent engagement activities at least once per quarter during the year that include a physical activity and healthy eating component.

In the event that you do send in foods that do not meet the guidelines, we will ask your child to put the food/drink back in their bag and we will provide them with our snack. We ask that you do not send in chips, candy, cookies or any junk food. With the many food allergies/sensitivities, we also have a no sharing of outside food policy for the safety of all children enrolled in our Y programs. (this includes birthday, holiday celebration treats such as cupcakes/cakes, platters, etc). Sugar sweetened drinks are not allowed to be brought in to the program and children will be asked to put them away if they are.

A weekly menu is posted at all our sites for your viewing. The OCY follows the EEC and USDA guidelines for storing, serving and purchasing of foods.