Nutrition Education Activity Training
What is N.E.A.T.?
N.E.A.T., or Nutrition Education Activity Training, is a program designed to teach and promote healthy eating behaviors among youth in Knox County. N.E.A.T. began as an initiative to combat childhood obesity and now reaches more than 1,000 children in afterschool sites. During the school year, trained volunteers lead interactive discussions and games centered on healthy eating and physical activity. Children also taste test healthy foods as part of the lessons.
Seeking to enhance the N.E.A.T. Program and create healthy environments, KCHD and local after-school programs developed the N.E.A.T. Approved designation. This designation requires after-school providers to incorporate environmental policy changes at their sites that promote healthy eating and physical activity. Eligible afterschool sites will be designated N.E.A.T. Approved Gold, Silver or Bronze depending on their level of achievement of the environmental policies related to nutrition, physical activity and special events. Parents are encouraged to get involved at their child’s afterschool program to help plan and participate in N.E.A.T. Approved Family Involvement events that include delicious N.E.A.T. Approved foods and fun games and activities for all ages!
N.E.A.T. Volunteer Opportunities:
Do you enjoy working with elementary-aged students? Do you have a passion for teaching and empowering youth? If so, the N.E.A.T. Program is a great fit for you! This afterschool program takes place at several locations throughout the Knoxville area and focuses on teaching Kindergarten through fifth graders about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. The time commitment required is 1 hour of teaching per week for 12 weeks. Orientation will take place on January 8, and the program will begin the week of January 22. Educators are compensated at the end of the semester with an $80 gift card. If you are interested in becoming a N.E.A.T. educator, please contact Megan Rodgers at Megan.Rodgers@knoxcounty.org or 865-215-5297 as soon as possible.
Want to learn more? Check out our YouTube video to see what other UT students have to say about their experience as a N.E.A.T. Educator- https://youtu.be/mAZya0n8OjE.
N.E.A.T. Approved Policies
*N.E.A.T. Approved snack criteria:
- Minimum – maximum calories: 150 to 300
- Saturated fat (% of total calories): <10%
- Percent calories from total sugar: ≤35%
- Exempt from saturated fat criteria: reduced-fat cheese (including part-skim mozzarella); nuts, seeds or nut/seed butters
- Exempt from sugar criteria: frozen fruit with no added sugars; fruit canned in 100% juice, light syrup or water; dried fruits with no added sugars; dried cranberries, tart cherries or blueberries, sweetened only for processing and/or palatability; yogurt with less than 23 grams of sugar per 6 oz.
- Exempt from saturated fat and sugar criteria: trail mix of only dried fruit and nuts and/or seeds, with no added sugars or fats
Specific beverage guidelines:
- Fat in milk products: Fat-free (skim) Low-fat (1%) milk, and yogurt
- Juice specifications: Only 100% juice; amount served not to exceed 6.75 oz.; 6 oz. portion preferred; limit to 90 calories per 6 oz. serving or 100 calories per 6.75 oz. serving; strongly suggest pairing with non-sweet snack
- Amount of milk served per snack in ounces: 8 oz.
- 100% juice and flavored fat-free and flavored 1% milk can be served no more than a total of 3 times per week
**N.E.A.T. Approved meal criteria:
- Minimum – maximum calories: 550 – 650 calories
- Saturated fat (% of total calories): <10% of calories
- ***Sodium (mg): ≤1230
*Criteria based on USDA Smart Snacks in School Standards and the CACFP Child Meal Standards
**Criteria based on a weekly average
***Sodium will reduced to USDA FNS Target 2, which is less than or equal to 935mg, by school year 2017-2018. Sodium will be reduced to USDA FNS Final Target, which is less than or equal to 640mg, by school year 2022-2023.
Other Nutrition Policies:
- Food is not used as a reward or punishment.
- Vending and concessions will meet established nutrition standards.
- Staff will role model healthy behaviors to students.
Physical Activity Policies
15 minutes or more of physical activity offered per hour
10-14 minutes of physical activity offered per hour
5-9 minutes of physical activity offered per hour
- Physical activity includes any physically active video games, such as Wii Fit.
- Physical activity is not used or taken away as punishment.
- The Program Site will host at least ONE family event per year to promote healthy eating, physical activity and being N.E.A.T. Approved!
Special Event Policies
- A special event is defined as any non-routine event, such as a party, that is hosted by the site.
- Such an event must follow the above nutrition policies and food provided must meet N.E.A.T. Approved snack or meal criteria.
Websites and Other Resources
- “GO,SLOW, WHOA” food list
- MyPlate website
- MyPlate Community Toolkit
- MyPlate’s Healthy Eating on a Budget resource
- USDA’s recipe finder with a database of low-cost, easy to prepare recipes following the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
N.E.A.T. Approved Sites
Congratulations to the afterschool programs that have achieved N.E.A.T. Approved status at the Gold, Silver or Bronze award level for the 2016-2017 school year.
N.E.A.T. Approved Gold
Ball Camp YMCA
Christenberry Knoxville Parks and Recreation
Green Magnet YMCA
Farragut Intermediate YMCA
Hardin Valley YMCA
Pleasant Ridge YMCA
Sarah Moore Greene YMCA
Spring Hill YMCA
Cedar Bluff YMCA
N.E.A.T. Approved Silver
Vestal Boys and Girls Club
Walter P. Taylor Boys and Girls Club
Middlebrook Boys and Girls Club
Northridge Crossing Boys and Girls Club
Carter Boys and Girls Club
Haslam Boys and Girls Club
Western Heights Boys and Girls Club
N.E.A.T. Approved Bronze
Halls/Powell Boys and Boys Club
The Restoration House, Emerald Youth Foundation
For more information about N.E.A.T. in Knox County, contact us here.