The USDA Challenges Families to Eat Healthy and Stay Active This Summer

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is challenging schools, childcare providers, and families to stay healthy and active this summer. Challenge accepted!

Through the Summer Food, Summer Moves program, the USDA provides free downloadable resource kits including posters, activity guides, flyers, placemats, and recipes. All of the materials are designed to encourage children and families to eat more fruits and vegetables, drink water, participate in daily physical activity, and limit screen time. By following through with these challenges, children will eat nutritiously and have the energy they need for a fun and movement-filled summer.


The Eat Smart to Play Hard activity guide looks at ways that families can be active together. One challenge is to cross off all activities on the list, including riding bikes, doing yoga, and hiking.

The USDA suggests eating healthy to get the energy needed for active family activities. Beans are a highlighted super-snack with yummy recipes the whole family will enjoy to get that protein punch. (Did someone say roasted chickpeas?)

A chart visually teaches children (and adults!) how much sugar can be found in some of their favorite drinks. Lemonade topped the charts with 14 whole teaspoons in just a 20 oz. serving. The facts do not lie; water is truly the best way to stay hydrated without the extra sugar, and then the inevitable crash.


To help provide nutritious meals during the summer, parents can access the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) for children when school is not in session. During the summer of 2017, the USDA plans to serve more than 200 million free meals to children 18 years old and younger.

To find a summer meal program near you, visit Find Summer Meals in Your Community.


The Parent’s Guide includes 4 main challenges:

  • Drink Smart to Play Hard
  • Choose More Fruits and Vegetables
  • Get Active
  • Limit Screen Time

With every challenge, the USDA provides tips and tricks to achieve that goal, along with a fun poster for the whole family. Kids also get the satisfaction of putting a sticker on a calendar for every day they met the USDA’s challenges.

Do you accept the challenge? If so, visit the Summer Food, Summer Moves website today.