Healthy Lifestyles

Healthy Lifestyles

Building Healthy Lifestyles for Kids

The YMCA is not only the largest provider of early childhood development, before and after school enrichment and day camp programs, we are also the healthiest provider.

When your children participate in our programs they will experience an environment rich in opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity. That’s because we are committed to educating kids about healthy lifestyles, modeling healthy behaviors and cultivating environments that make healthy choices the easy choices.

Request Information

 At the YMCA

Here’s what your child will experience in early childhood development at the YMCA.

Modeling Good Choices
  • YMCA staff model healthy eating behaviors at all times
  • Our staff eat meals and snacks with the kids
  • YMCA staff participate in physical activities with children
Healthy Eating Standards
Here’s What We Have
  • Water is available at all times
  • Fruits or vegetables are provided at every meal and most snack
  • Whole and enriched grains, with the first ingredient beginning with the word whole or enriched, are served
  • At most of our locations children serve themselves family style at all meals with adult supervision
Here’s What We Don’t Have
  • Fried foods are not served
  • Trans fat is not on our menu
  • Foods with sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients are not offered
Promoting Infant Health
  • Breastfeeding in our centers is welcome
  • For breastfeeding families accommodations are made for fresh and frozen breast milk
Healthy Eating and Physical Activity

At the YMCA we follow Healthy Eating Physical Activity (HEPA) standards in conjunction with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Guidelines. Used collectively we are able to guide healthy eating, good nutrition and physical activity.

Physical Activity


  • Ensure children have at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily for full day participants
  • Provide children with at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily for half day participants
  • Break down physical activity into smaller increments and/or include a mixture of moderate and vigorous activity
  • Provide unstructured free play and structured, age appropriate activities
  • Offer competitive and non-competitive physical activities


  • Create daily opportunities for infants to freely explore their indoor and outdoor environments under adult supervision
  • Engage daily with infants on the ground to optimize adult and infant interactions
  • Provide daily tummy time, or time in the prone position, for infants less than six months of age

Screen Time

  • Eliminate screen time for children under two years of age
  • Limit screen time for children over two to less than one hour per day for full day participants and 30 minutes a day for half day participants
  • Minimize a child’s exposure during screen time to advertisements that promote unhealthy choices