Healthy U is a collaborative partnership between the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance and the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey with the goal of combating childhood obesity through nutrition education, physical education and family involvement.
The Healthy U program uses the CATCH (coordinated approach to child health) curriculum to promote physical activity and healthy eating among youth 3 -13 years old. CATCH teaches kids that eating healthy and being physically active every day can be fun.
The after school program has been a part of Healthy U since 2008. The goal is to promote healthy habits that can last a lifetime by demonstrating, and learning about the importance of, physical activity and good nutrition.
Healthy U launched in 2012 in our preschool-age programs. Our preschoolers experience games and physical activities that provide an environment for success in skill development and exercise. Nutrition lessons are taught through fun circle time and exploration activities. This program also provides parents with valuable tips and suggestions for use at home.
Healthy U also has a school-based program which the Y helps implement. Westfield's Washington and Jefferson Elementary schools began incorporating Healthy U in the schools in the 2013-14 school year, McKinley (Westfield) and Lincoln Schools (Garwood) launched in the 2014-15 school year, and Deerfield (Mountainside) in the 2015-16 school year.
In New Jersey, 1 in 3 school age children are either overweight or obese. These children risk developing serious health problems in adulthood. Through the Healthy U program, we can make a positive impact on youth and families. The goal is to prevent and reduce obesity in children through physical activity and nutrition behaviors, and strong parental involvement.
Check out the printable Healthy U brochure here for more information.
Click here for a Healthy U video (filmed at our Y)!