One of the missions of the YMCA of Paterson is to introduce the importance of consistent healthy eating habits and increased physical activity throughout the Paterson Community through the programs offered at our facility. We have changed our internal policy and have introduced the YMCA’s Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards within our afterschool program.
The students enrolled in our Afterschool Program have been introduced to 45 minutes of physical activity for four days out of the week. The kids enjoy constant movement through participation in swim lessons and recreational swim, basic stretching, striking, and kicking techniques in our martial arts program, practicing basic golf swings and putting in our First Tee Golfing Program, and introduction to various sports in our Pick-A-Sport Club. Television and computer usage has been severely limited in order to allow for increased physical movement.
Any health program is incomplete without improved eating habits education. The YMCA of Paterson Family Services Center has introduced the importance of balanced meals through their collaboration with the Paterson Task Force. The Task Force provides every student with a meal that consists of one protein, one fruit, one vegetable, and an occasional starch. Water is always accessible to the children and an option of low-fat milk or fruit juice is provided.
With the obesity epidemic racing through our children’s lives, every opportunity should be taken to improve the livelihood of our community for a healthier, longer-lasting future.