Below we’ve listed a few of our favorite resources for parents in the areas of food, fitness, and wellness:
Food and Fitness:
- 10 Ways to Create a Healthy Food Environment at Home
- Great tips for creating a healthier home from the Yale Rudd Center
- Be Fit NYC
- New York City’s resource for free and low cost fitness activities for kids. Search by borough or by interest areas to find the fun activity that’s right for you and your family. (Parents can check Shape Up NY on the same site for free adult fitness resources.)
- CHALK (Choosing Healthy & Active Lifestyles for Kids)
- Based in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan, chalk helps kids get active and healthy. Be sure to check out their piece, “10 Habits of Healthy Kids”
- The CHAMPS Middle School Sports and Fitness League is an initiative of the New York City Department of Education that promotes student physical activity during the critical years of middle school.
- City Parks Foundation
- City Parks Foundation’s programs serve NYC youth through arts, sports and education programs.
- Mommy Poppins
- Mommy Poppins is sa great resource for wellness-based activities in New York City. They post seasonal activities for kids, a list of where to pick your own produce in the NY-region, and offer the weekly column, “Free and Fun Things to Do this Weekend for NYC Kids”
- New York Junior Tennis League
- Using tennis as a tool, this organization offers a variety of educational programs throughout the city.
- PBS Parents
- Sesame Street
- Slow Food NYC
- Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is part of a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members in over 150 countries, which links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment
- Team Nutrition
- Team Nutrition is an initiative of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to support the Child Nutrition Programs through training and technical assistance for foodservice, nutrition education for children and their caregivers, and school and community support for healthy eating and physical activity.
- You Want Game
- A free, community sourced website that helps you set up and locate healthy activities in your neighborhood. There are currently over 200 NYC-based events on the site, and that number grows daily. It’s user generated, so if you like the idea but don’t see what you’re looking for, sign up and post your own games/events!
Health and Affordability:
- Health Bucks and EBT
- Health Bucks are paper vouchers, worth $2 each, developed and distributed by NYC Health Department District Public Health Offices and which can be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets. For every $5 a customer spends using EBT, s/he receives one $2 Health Buck coupon.
- See a map (PDF) of the 2011 participating Greenmarkets
- See posters listing the Health Bucks markets in: The Bronx (PDF), Harlem (PDF), and Brooklyn (PDF).
- How to use your Health Bucks at GreenMarkets Poster: English (PDF), Spanish (PDF)
- Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP)
- The New York State Farmers Market Nutrition Program is a federally funded and state administered program, created to provide fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables to WIC participants and low income seniors, and to expand the awareness and sales at farmers markets. FMNP provides $4 checks redeemable for fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets including all of 51 Greenmarkets.
- Learn how to use FMNP at Greenmarkets by watching this video.
- SNAP Gardens
- Any authorized SNAP retailer can sell food-producing plants and seeds, but not all do. (However, not all retailers that sell food-producing plants and seeds are authorized to accept SNAP. If the places where you use SNAP benefits sell food-producing plants or seeds, then you can use your benefits to purchase those items. It should be as simple as that.
- WIC Vegetable and Fruit Checks
- The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low income woman who are pregnant or have small children and are found to be at nutritional risk. To offer foods that are lower in fat, higher in fiber,and more culturally appropriate, there was a refinement to the WIC food package in2009. One of the changes made was to offer more fruits and vegetables through monthly Vegetable and Fruit checks. These checks are distributed in increments of $6, $8, $10 and$15 and can be used to purchase fresh, frozen and canned vegetables and fruits.
- Learn how to use WIC checks at Greenmarkets by watching this video.
- Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?
- A great New York Times article by food writer, Mark Bittman, refuting the claim that junk food is cheaper than fresh, healthy food.
- Added Value, 370 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
- The goal of this Red Hook Brooklyn non-profit is to promote the sustainable develop of the area through the education, and support, of local teens. Added Value not only helps to revitalize local parks and vacant properties, but they provide educational programs to local elementary schools and train volunteers to build upon their foundation. Currently Added Value has three main initiatives: Growing a Just Food System, Youth Empowerment; and Farm-Based Learning.
- Brooklyn Grange, 37-18 Northern Blvd Queens, NY
- Brooklyn Grange is a commercial organic farm located on New York City rooftops. They grow vegetables in the city and sell them to local people and businesses. The goal is to improve access to very good food, to connect city people more closely to farms and food production, and to make urban farming a viable enterprise and livelihood.
- Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, 44 Eagle St Brooklyn, NY
- On the shoreline of the East River and with a sweeping view of the Manhattan skyline, Eagle Street Rooftop Farm is a 6,000 square foot green roof organic vegetable farm located atop a warehouse rooftop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.During New York City’s growing season, the farmers at Eagle Street Rooftop Farm supply a community supported agriculture (CSA) program, an onsite farm market, and bicycle fresh produce to area restaurants.
- Katchkie Farm, 34 Fischer Road, Kinderhook, NY
- A sixty-acre organic vegetable farm in Kinderhook, New York. The Sylvia Center’s programs at Katchkie Farm immerse children in the process of growing, harvesting, cooking, and eating fresh healthy food
- Queens County Farm Museum, 75-30 Little Neck Pkway, Floral Park, NY 11004
- The Queens County Farm sits on the largest tract of undisturbed farmland in the five boroughs. Open for visits, includes a wine shop, egg sales and compost drop off.
- Randall's Island Children's Learning Garden, inside Icahn Stadium, 20 Randall's Island
- Randall's Island Children's Learning Garden, created as a result of the combined efforts of GrowNYC and the Randall's Island Sports Foundation, is a 3,000 square foot urban farm that aims to provide schools and groups who lack on-site or proximal open space with the experience of environmental education and nutritional learning by growing, harvesting, and eating garden-fresh produce.
- Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, 630 Bedford Road Pocantico Hills, NY 10591
- One of our favorite farms in the area, only 25 miles away from NYC. They focus on hands on educational activities that are great for kids.
- Click here for a great list of family friendly farms where you can pick your own fruits and vegetables
- Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program
- Click here for the PDF list and here for the online list of Farmer's Markets in NY
- EBT/Food Stamps and Food Access in Greenmarkets
- Youth Education and Tours
- Books for adults, families, and young children
- Truth on Health
- Health-based website addressing exercise and nutrition, spearheaded by Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics. Who wouldn’t want to take some healthy advice from an accomplished professional athlete nicknamed, “The Truth?” For kids with an additional section for parents.
- Nourish Interactive
- Nourish Interactive features free printables, healthy tips and recipes, and nutrition tools and games. There are separate sections with all of the above for both kids and adults. Available in English and Spanish.
- Zis Boom Bah
- Award winning hands-on site that allows children to pick and plan their own meals and provides online tools, including recipes and activities for all seasons to help families create a healthy lifestyle.
- Time Out NY Kids
- Where can I find a kid’s cooking school? What can I do with my kids on Saturday for under $20? Find out the best resources for all things kids on this site. Sign up for the “Best Free and Fun Things to Do This Weekend” newsletter which is delivered to your inbox every Thursday.
- Use your smartphone camera to scan bar codes of food items and this app rates your choice based on healthfulness of the ingredients with a grade from A to F. It also offers healthier alternatives for the foods that get not so great grades.
- Munch 5-A-Day
- Track daily food and veg intake with this animated, fun app. Features options to share progress with others to receive encouragement, set custom goals and graphs track progress.