kids on playscapeThe latest in our regular roundups of healthy eating and physical activity news from HOST members and others.

Success Stories

  • Action for Healthy Kids teamed with CSX Transportation, City Year, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to hold an Every Kid Healthy Day of Service at Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School in Philadelphia. Among other things, volunteers installed new basketball hoops and repainted the court, brightened the kindergarten playground with a mural, painted the gymnasium and cafeteria in the school’s colors, built storage racks for stability balls in the gym, and painted a mural in the cafeteria.
  • Safe Routes to School shows how "a team of visionary parents" helped Palo Alto, California, solve safety problems along the school commute and spread pedestrian and bike safety education to more than 4,500 elementary and 6th grade students.
  • Playworks explains "How One Tennessee School Turned Recess Around" and how one P.E. teacher used resources and support from Playworks to create a recess plan for a middle school that had never had recess before.


  • A new report from the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project, a collaboration between The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, shows which approaches have been most effective as schools transition to the healthier food and drink standards issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2011. Six in 10 of the surveyed food service directors said they faced few or no ongoing obstacles to meeting updated breakfast requirements; four in 10 said the same about the lunch guidelines. The most commonly cited challenges were tighter limits on weekly average sodium content and the requirement that grain servings be made from at least 50 percent whole grains.
  • A new study from SaludAmerica! shows that "Being Latino and drinking sugary beverages at least once in the past week were associated with 2.3 times the odds of severe obesity in kindergarten, which can lead to obesity-related diseases." To address this, they recommend, among other things, that "Early childcare centers should adopt best practices from the revised Child and Adult Care Food Program guidelines (promoting water and avoiding serving sugary drinks)."

Tips and Resources


  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced final changes to increase access to healthy food choices for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP authorized retail establishments must now offer a larger inventory and variety of healthy food options.
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    "NIOST has been an anchor for numerous school age care projects we do, including ASQ (After-School Quality) and Links to Learning. They are a nationally respected organization that Pennsylvania has partnered with for over 20 years."

    – Betsy O. Saatman, TA Specialist/SAC Initiatives, Pennsylvania Key

    "NIOST was a core partner in supporting the development of quality improvement systems across the nine cities that participated in The Wallace Foundation Next Generation Afterschool System-Building Initiative. The NIOST team worked well with other technical assistance partners in the initiative, always willing to pitch in and collaborate with others to make our professional learning community meetings a team effort. I truly hope the Foundation has an opportunity to partner with them in the future."

    – Priscilla M. Little, Initiative Manager, The Wallace Foundation


    "NIOST has been a leader in the out-of-school time field for as long as I can remember, and I have relied on their research, tools, and advice to improve my practice throughout my career. Their staff members are good partners and good listeners, and their influence across the country is palpable."

    – Jane Quinn, Vice President and Director of National Center for Community Schools, Children's Aid Society

    "Georgia Hall, Ellen Gannett, and the NIOST team have been instrumental in driving the healthy afterschool movement. Their dedication to quality practice, informed policy, and collective impact is instrumental in our effort to create healthier communities."

    – Daniel W. Hatcher, Director, Community Partnerships, Alliance for a Healthier Generation

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The National Institute on Out-of-School Time

A program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College

Wellesley Centers for Women
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481-8203 USA
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