Other Youth Topics

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 Voices