This past September the Community After School Program began a partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The goal of the partnership is to help increase the nutrition education and health standards at each of our 17 after school programs. After assessing where we could make improvements, CASP and the Alliance’s Healthy Out-of-School Time Manager, Travis Humphrey, created a plan to serve healthier foods and drinks at parties and supply more water for the children and staff to consume daily while at the program.
Because of this partnership, CASP was able to apply for a grant funded by the Walmart Foundation to help achieve these goals. CASP was generously awarded $13,600 in December. This grant has helped CASP purchase healthy food items to make at parties, new cooking equipment and supplies for easy food preparation, water dispensers for each program, and to publish a CASP cookbook.
“Kids in the Kitchen: A Healthy Holiday Cookbook” was created by the CASP Be Fit Coordinators. This resource provides a variety of kid-friendly, healthy recipes for staff to use when planning holiday parties. The cookbook contains easy-to-make recipes for each of the major holidays during the school year as well as color photographs. CASP emailed a PDF version of the cookbook to CASP parents to assist them in preparing healthy holiday snacks for home as well as their child(ren)’s parties, activities, etc. In addition, the Walmart Foundation grant allowed CASP to print 100 spiral-bound, color copies of the cookbook to give away. The response to the cookbook has been amazing! Parents have been sharing the cookbook with friends, family, work colleagues, and clients. If you would like a PDF and/or printed copy of this cookbook please email Lindsey Ellis at firstname.lastname@example.org . FREE printed copies will be given to CASP families on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.
CASP is extremely grateful for this amazing gift from the Walmart Foundation and for our partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Although we may not be able to end the childhood obesity epidemic this year or even over the next five years, we can start to change the party food culture at our schools and after school programs. Over time, we are confident that health and nutrition education combined with practical tools like the CASP Be Fit “Kids in the Kitchen” cookbook will help change the mindsets of children and adults when it comes to foods offered to children.