The County Executive praises community partners for developing guidelines for healthy after-school snacks
Kingston, NY - County Executive Mike Hein was joined today at MACPark, in Kingston, New York by representatives from public and non-profit community organizations who developed Ulster County’s first uniform Healthy Snack Food Guidelines. The guidelines include well researched and easy-to-follow nutritional recommendations for afterschool program providers. The County Executive praised the community partners for their hard work developing these comprehensive guidelines and hailed the initiative as an important component in his Healthy Ulster County initiative.
“There is a serious childhood obesity epidemic in our nation, as over 12.5 million of our children are at risk. We know that serious health consequences, such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, can result from overweight and obese childhood conditions. Healthy snacking can help reverse this trend by making nutritious food more readily available and by establishing healthy habits that can last a lifetime,” said County Executive Hein. “On behalf of all Ulster County residents, I want to thank everyone who worked diligently to create these worthwhile guidelines. By working together, we can make Ulster County the healthiest county in New York State.
Ulster County Public Health Director, Dr. Hasbrouck said, "Snacks account for 27% of children's daily calories and have added about 170 calories per day compared to three decades ago. This translates into about 17 pounds per year. Making the shift from chips, candy, and soda to healthy alternatives is essential to combating our childhood obesity problem. These guidelines will help. I strongly urge schools, youth-based organizations, parents and caregivers to use them."
Laurie Deutsch Mozian, Chair of the Healthy After-School Snack Committee and Director of the Community Health Coalition of Ulster County, one of the lead partners in this project, said that “as a committee, we put considerable thought into these guidelines and we are pleased that the work we have done will be reaching the children in after school programs in Ulster County.”
In 2010 the Healthy Afterschool Snack (HAS) Committee was formed by the Healthy Kingston for Kids (HKK) Partnership. HKK is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, one of the nation’s leading healthcare improvement advocates and is facilitated by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County. The Community Heart Health Coalition of Ulster County took the lead of the HAS Committee, along with the Rose Women’s Care Service, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County’s Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play project, and numerous community volunteers.
The Healthy Snack Food Guidelines were developed by the HAS Committee and have been endorsed by the Ulster County Department of Health. The nutritional standards included in the Guidelines were adapted and customized from the Choose Sensibly Guidelines created by the New York School Nutrition Association.
Afterschool program providers, parents and other interested parties can view the guidelines and obtain enrollment information online on the new Healthy Ulster County Network prevention website at www.HealthyUlsterCounty.net. Those who choose to implement the guidelines will be formally recognized and will receive a special certificate plaque and website listing.
MACFit Kids/After School Activity Program, located at MACPark, in Kingston, will be the first childcare program in Ulster County to adopt the new guidelines.