Other Youth Topics


  1. Youth Topics
  2. Afterschool Programs
  3. Health & Nutrition

Health & Nutrition

Afterschool programs are well-positioned to promote health and nutrition among young people because these programs:

  • Serve many groups of children most at risk for being overweight, specifically minorities and those in poverty
  • Occur during a time of day when children are likely to be sedentary if not given active options
  • Reach children at the developmental stage when they are forming the health patterns they will carry into adulthood
  • Provide young people with access to nutritious foods and promoting healthy habits1
  • Act as liaisons to parents who make critical nutrition and physical activity decisions for their children
  • Offer a safe and supervised environment led by caring adults who can act as role models for healthy eating, physical activity, and positive self-talk during the program2

Afterschool programs can encourage healthy outcomes for youth by providing opportunities for physical activity, promoting good nutrition, and engaging parents to encourage healthy choices at home. Programs are well positioned to be key partners in a comprehensive effort to help children grow up healthy.3


Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP): Afterschool Programs
This webpage from the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides information and resources on the CACFP program and how it applies to afterschool programs, including information on how to participate in at-risk afterschool meals, frequently asked questions, athletic programs and afterschool meal service, and more.


1 National Afterschool Association, 2018
2 National Afterschool Association, 2018
3 National Afterschool Association, 2018

Other Resources on this Topic


Youth Briefs

How Individualized Education Program (IEP) Transition Planning Makes a Difference for Youth with Disabilities

Youth who receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and especially young adults of transition age, should be involved in planning for life after high school as early as possible and no later than age 16. Transition services should stem from the individual youth’s needs and strengths, ensuring that planning takes into account his or her interests, preferences, and desires for the future.

Youth Transitioning to Adulthood: How Holding Early Leadership Positions Can Make a Difference

Research links early leadership with increased self-efficacy and suggests that leadership can help youth to develop decision making and interpersonal skills that support successes in the workforce and adulthood. In addition, young leaders tend to be more involved in their communities, and have lower dropout rates than their peers. Youth leaders also show considerable benefits for their communities, providing valuable insight into the needs and interests of young people

How Trained Service Professionals and Self-Advocacy Makes a Difference for Youth with Mental Health, Substance Abuse, or Co-occurring Issues

Statistics reflecting the number of youth suffering from mental health, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders highlight the necessity for schools, families, support staff, and communities to work together to develop targeted, coordinated, and comprehensive transition plans for young people with a history of mental health needs and/or substance abuse.

Young Adults Formerly in Foster Care: Challenges and Solutions

Nearly 30,000 youth aged out of foster care in Fiscal Year 2009, which represents nine percent of the young people involved in the foster care system that year. This transition can be challenging for youth, especially youth who have grown up in the child welfare system.

Coordinating Systems to Support Transition Age Youth with Mental Health Needs

Research has demonstrated that as many as one in five children/youth have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Read about how coordination between public service agencies can improve treatment for these youth.

Civic Engagement Strategies for Transition Age Youth

Civic engagement has the potential to empower young adults, increase their self-determination, and give them the skills and self-confidence they need to enter the workforce. Read about one youth’s experience in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).