Tufts’ ‘Snack It Up’ Initiative Promotes Healthy Eating

Program leaders will receive discounts on fruits and veggies at Hannaford Supermarkets.

vegetables photo via shutterstock.

vegetables photo via shutterstock.

With a third of children and adolescents now classified as obese or overweight, the issue of childhood obesity has never been more pressing.

Recent research from Tufts University revealed that the vast majority of children are bringing unhealthy snacks and lunches to school, a tendency that has been linked to skyrocketing obesity rates. Now, a Tufts University-affiliated program is ramping up its efforts to reverse these dangerous trends by launching Snack it Up, a new initiative which promotes healthy eating by offering discounts on fruits and vegetables purchased at Hannaford Supermarkets.

The discounts will take the form of $5 off coupons, and will be made available to leaders of select soccer, Cub Scout, and 4-H programs for kids in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.

“Hannaford Supermarkets have long offered tools and resources for our customers who are seeking healthier food options,” Hannaford manager Julie Greene said in the report. “We are excited to support Snack It Up and make it easier for community programs, coaches and volunteers to offer fresh fruits and vegetables for snacking.”

Snack it Up was established by Healthy Kids Out of School, a subset of the Tufts ChildObesity180 program that encourages kids to stay physically active and make healthy food and drink choices. Christina D. Economos, an associate Tufts professor and the vice chair and director of ChildObesity 180, said in the report that the organization developed the Snack it Up pilot after coaches and program leaders commented on the inaccessibility of nutritious food.

“With the participation of Hannaford and support from Newman’s Own Foundation, we have been able to help these programs provide healthier snack options for children while still staying within their budgets,” Economos said.