Nutrition & Physical Activity Research in Out of School Time Settings
The HPRC’s newest core research project, OSNAP, works with out of school time (OST) programs in Massachusetts and Maine to improve nutrition and physical activity–related practices, environments, and policies. With our community partners, OSNAP will identify and support sustainable policy and environmental strategies that promote increased access to healthy snacks and opportunities for physical activity that can be used in a variety of OST settings.
This project aims to help afterschool programs and child care providers create healthy environments for children. The HPRC conducted a quasi-experimental evaluation of a YMCA-driven intervention focused on nutrition and physical activity practice changes in 32 afterschool programs across the country. The program was implemented via an organizational change model, and participating sites utilized the Food & Fun curriculum developed by the HPRC in partnership with the YMCA of the USA.
Food and Fun Afterschool (© President and Fellows of Harvard College and YMCA of the USA) is a curriculum designed to develop healthy habits out of school time. Eleven teaching units help programs infuse healthy snacks and recipes, physically active games, and creative learning activities into regular program schedules. Each unit includes supportive parent handouts, newsletters, and e-mails to reinforce the Food & Fun messages.