RYE, N.Y. -- As a result of steadily increasing childhood obesity rates, the Rye YMCA is implementing healthier eating and physical activity standards for its Kindertime and After School programs.
When it comes to nutrition, the Rye Y is providing healthier alternatives to popular snacks. When the children wanted pizza, the staff provided whole grain dough and veggie toppings, so the children could each create their own customized snack.
In addition, smoothies have become so popular among the children that the Y has implemented “Smoothie Friday,” which has led to a more adventurous spirit in researching and trying new fruits and vegetables.
The program also offers an organized physical activity every day with no additional fee. Yoga and gym, free-swim and sports class are scheduled once weekly, and tennis class is offered twice weekly.
“Implementing our new healthy eating and physical activity standards has certainly been a challenge for our team, however, the impact that we have already seen in our students is profound,” Scott Umbel, senior program director said in a statement. “Our students now reach for the fresh celery sticks, whole grain chips and homemade salsa just before heading to a Zumba class, an enormous change from just 12 months ago."