Nutrition and Physical Activity Resources


California After School Physical Activity Guidelines  

After school staff have the power to make daily physical activity accessible and engaging for every student and to help all youths in after school programs discover the many benefits and joys of physical activity. The intent of the California After School Physical Activity (CASPA) Guidelines is to create high-quality physical activity programs that expand learning opportunities of the regular school day. The CASPA Guidelines can help achieve these goals. 


ACEs Connection Blog Posts for Healthy Nourishment

ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Connection provides information on trauma-informed/resilience-building practices. Do you ever wonder, what is the relationship between adverse experiences and eating habits, food security, and nutritional status? How can we work on food insecurity and nutritional health in a trauma-informed way? How can understanding our relationship to food through a trauma-informed lens support healing, resilience, and whole health? Look no further!


Creating an Active America  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is leading a national initiative called Active People, Healthy Nation, this initiative is to aim for 27 million Americans to become more physically aware and active by the year 2027. The increased physical activity can improve health, quality of life, and reduce health care costs. 


The Aspen Institute: Being Active and Exposure to Green Spaces Increases Brain Health

The Aspen Institute’s Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development has released the The Brain Basis for Integrated Social, Emotional, and Academic Development . The publication explores how emotions and relationships drive learning and are a fundamental part of how our brains develop. The human brain can evolve, adapt, and form new neural networks based on learned experiences and relationships.


OST Fosters Positive Environment for Children’s Health

Active and engaged learning benefits can happen beyond the regular school day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Out-of-School Time (OST) enhances children’s well-being and academic achievement by providing an additional safe and nurturing environment for children to learn and play. Visit the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model to learn more. 


Check out the Latest Quality Standards Video from CDE

The California Department of Education – Expanded Learning Division has released the fifth video in a series of videos highlighting the Quality Standards in Action. The purpose of these videos is to serve as a resource to support implementation of the Quality Standards for Expanded Learning in California. This video highlights programs who are implementing the Healthy Choices and Behaviors standard.

Check out the Healthy Choices and Behaviors Video

For more information and to see all the videos released go to


Breath In, Breath Out

Feeling overwhelmed, feeling stressed? Take a deep breath and read ACE’s 6 Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress.”One of the best and most accessible tools we can use to decrease stress is to connect with our breath. During the stress response, the breath becomes light and shallow. When this happens, it is important to bring awareness to the breath to help refocus the mind. Conscious breathing ignites the relaxation response, which triggers physiological changes in our bodies.” Read through the six tips and start enjoying a calmer mind and the health perks. 


Team California for Healthy Kids

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has initiated the Team California for Healthy Kids to promote healthy eating and physical activity throughout the day, every day, in schools, before and after school agencies, early childhood programs, and communities. The campaign will focus on making healthy choices the easy choices.

Rigorous research confirms the clear connection between health, learning, and attendance:


Kids on the Move: Afterschool Programs Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity
A Report from: America After 3PM

America After 3PM has recently released a special report titled: “Kids on the Move: Afterschool Programs Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity.”  This report focuses on the role that after school programs play to support the health and wellness of students. The findings are based on survey responses from parents from over 30,000 households nationwide.

To download the full report, click here


New Healthy Schools Program Website Provides Easier Way to Measure Progress

The launch of the new Healthy Schools Program website features a healthy schools program that offers schools a unified assessment tool, making it easier to promote policies that support healthy practices. This new School Health Index reduces confusion about which tool to use by replacing the old Healthy Schools Program Inventory. Additionally, the School Health Index works to align school health practices in coordination with national surveillance systems to ensure that kids are healthy and ready to learn. 


“Grow It, Try It, Like It!” Nutrition Education Kit

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recently announced the release of their “Grow It, Try It, Like It” Nutrition Education Kit for Child and Adult Care Food Program providers to use to educate kids on healthy nutritional habits through interactive activities. With seven booklets filled with hands-on lesson plans about fruits and vegetables, this kit incorporates MyPlate and can be used by program providers as well as families to introduce children to nutrition education. 


Register Your School Now for the JUST RUN Program!

Schools and youth organizations nationwide are invited to register for the JUST RUN program for the 2014-15 school year. This free, web-based fitness program helps educators combat childhood obesity by offering strategies and incentives for advocating for healthy fitness, nutritional, and lifestyle habits for children. Utilized by over 11,000 students this program has many features including clinics, marathons, an anti-drug program, and nutritional education. Not only is the JUST RUN program easy to implement, but it also can be used at before, after, and during school programs. 


Michelle Obama Introduces After-School Initiative

On February 25, Michelle Obama announced a five-year initiative to enhance the quality of expanded learning programs by making them a healthier, more active environment to improve the overall performance of children. The Boys and Girls Club of America in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association, have committed to provide children with nutritional snacks as well as opportunities to engage in physical activity. This initiative is expected to advance fitness and nutritional standards in order to promote child success in school as well as later on in life.