The Healthy Lifestyles initiative supports the holistic well-being of children through adopting a healthy diet, practicing healthy lifestyle choices and making a lifelong commitment to fitness.
The Healthy Lifestyles initiative is dedicated to ensuring the overall wellness of the Club Members and their families in order for all involved to live healthy lives and to build a stronger, healthier and more educated community. Program components include Nutrition Services, Special Events and Targeted Programming. The Nutrition Department focuses on preparing nutritious daily meals for members, including an after school meal that meets USDA requirements and is designed to provide members with a filling meal in the event dinner is not provided at home. Education and resources to support healthy food and lifestyle choices are made available to families. Targeted programming within the Healthy Lifestyles Initiative focuses on prevention and learning opportunities with emphasis on nutritional education, avoidance of risky behaviors, improving self esteem, recreational opportunities and developing pro-social behaviors.
Currently, Monterey County has the 4th highest childhood obesity rate in the State of California, with 44.6% of all youth classified as obese (Kids Data.org). Obesity amongst our youth places them at greater risk for health diseases including Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease and Hypertension. Our current generation of youth could be the first to have a shorter life expectancy than the generation before them.
The Positive Sprouts program teaches club members of all ages the importance of eating healthy and locally. Members participate in a series of lessons to learn about the importance of good nutrition and eating a balanced meal. These lessons allow members to ask questions and then test their skills at growing their own food with our gardens. Members help to maintain and plant fresh fruits and vegetables in our clubhouse gardens. Once produce is grown members are able to taste test, as well as bring home the items that they have grown.
With a comprehensive approach to mind, body and soul, this program was developed in partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services; members learn about the power of healthy choices regarding nutrition, fitness, and relationships.
Basketball, soccer, track & field, and flag football leagues are open to all ages and abilities, focusing on skill building, teamwork, and inter-club competitions.
Over 150,000 free meals are served to our children every year, providing wholesome, balanced nutrition complete with fresh local produce.