New Hampshire Soccer Association Joins Initiative to Bring Healthier Snacks to Kids

Soccer players enjoy a healthy snack

New Hampshire Soccer Association Joins Initiative to Bring Healthier Snacks to Kids

September 10, 2014

“Snack It Up” Program Could Impact More Than 3,000 New Hampshire Youth Athletes  

(September 10, 2014) BOSTON, MA – Youth soccer players across New Hampshire are kicking off the fall season with healthier snacks,  thanks to an expansion of Snack It Up, a program to make fresh produce more affordable and accessible to coaches and their teams. Healthy Kids Out of School, New Hampshire Soccer Association and Hannaford Supermarkets are teaming up to bring Snack It Up to more than 3,000 youth athletes this fall. Beginning this month, Snack It Up will provide 200 youth soccer coaches with discounts on fruits and vegetables to encourage healthy habits in youth athletes.

Snack It Up was created by Healthy Kids Out of School, an initiative of ChildObesity180 at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition. The program empowers coaches and other leaders of after-school programs to upgrade their snacks through support and collaboration from community partners. Participating coaches will receive a coupon booklet providing significant discounts for produce items, reinforcing healthy alternatives to the calorie-packed, low-nutrient foods often provided as post-game snacks.
 
“We are thrilled to participate in Snack It Up so that our coaches can help youth athletes fuel up on healthier snacks more affordably,” said Eric Redder, Technical Director of New Hampshire Soccer Association. “We work hard to teach our players to lead healthy, active lives, and this initiative helps build healthy habits on, and off, the field.”

The launch of the Snack It Up program in New Hampshire builds on successful recent pilots in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and is part of ChildObesity180’s effort to reverse the trend of childhood obesity in America. Since 1980, rates of obesity have doubled in 2-5 year olds, quadrupled in 6-11 year olds, and tripled in 12-19 year olds. The causes of obesity are complex and interconnected, but can be mitigated through simple steps like making fruits and vegetables the default snack.

“We’re excited to bring this innovative program to New Hampshire,” said Christina D. Economos Ph.D., vice chair and director of ChildObesity180, New Balance Chair in Childhood Nutrition, and associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. “Snack It Up helps foster healthy snacking habits in youth by making fresh fruits and veggies a more regular part of their routines. By reinforcing healthy behaviors around activities and snacking, we can change the norms and reverse the trend of childhood obesity.”

“Hannaford Supermarkets is proud to support the Healthy Kids Out of School Snack It Up program,” said Julie Greene, manager of healthy living for Hannaford. “Snack It Up helps us connect with our local communities and invest in the health of New Hampshire’s young athletes by making fresh, nutritious snacks more affordable and accessible.”

Coaches and volunteer leaders who are looking to develop similar partnerships in their own communities can visit the Healthy Kids Hub website (HealthyKidsHub.org/snackitup) to get tips for inviting local grocery stores to engage in this effort. Funding for Snack It Up is provided by the Newman’s Own Foundation, with regional funding for the Healthy Kids Out of School program from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation.

About Healthy Kids Out of School
Healthy Kids Out of School is an initiative of ChildObesity180 at Tufts University. The initiative works with leaders around the country to promote three principles for healthy out-of-school time: Drink Right, Move More, and Snack Smart. The Healthy Kids Hub website (HealthyKidsHub.org) provides resources to support the implementation of these principles. Regional funding for the Healthy Kids Out of School initiative is provided by the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, with additional support from Newman’s Own Foundation.

About ChildObesity180:  Aiming for a “180” on Childhood Obesity
Based at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, our premise is unique:  Top national leaders from the private, public, nonprofit, and academic sectors committed to developing, measuring, and implementing evidence-based solutions to reverse the alarming epidemic of childhood obesity in America. For more information, visit www.ChildObesity180.org.

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