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200+ Environmental Policy Changes Impacting Over 45 Municipalities

Promoting Active Living Through Bicycle Lanes

65+ Families Have Attended Our Ongoing Healthy Living Retreat

200+ Corner Stores Enrolled in the NJ Healthy Corner Store Initiative

Building Community Playgrounds

Sponsoring Healthy Farmers Markets

Developing School Wellness Policies

400+ Attending the Annual Culture of Health Conference

Implementing Environment and Policy Changes to Help Children Achieve a Healthy Weight

Why Creating Healthy Communities Matters:


Percent of children in New Jersey are considered overweight or obese


New Jersey ranks in overall prevalence of childhood obesity


Billion: The cost of national childhood obesity health care per year

Recent Stories

March Is National Nutrition Month

March 9, 2018

Go Further with Food It’s Sunday, you’ve opened your refrigerator to check your food supply. After you determine what you need, you head out to the grocery store. Once you return from grocery shopping, you unpack your bags and start to cook your Sunday meal. But, have you ever considered preparing a weeks’ worth of meals in advance? That’s exactly what the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is encouraging families across the nation to do as part of its “Go Further with Food” campaign during National Nutrition Month. “Preparing several meals on weekends can provide balanced meals that can easily be reheated throughout the week,” says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Kristen Smith. “It’s also a great way to eat healthfully, save time during the week and reduce food waste.” Preparing your own food can be time consuming, but it is the healthiest way for you to monitor what […]


Healthy March Madness Snacks

March 9, 2018

You’ve got your college basketball brackets picked out, now it’s time to start watching the games! Beware, there are a LOT of games being played over the next few weeks, so indulging in the usual pizza and wings may leave you with a few extra pounds come April. Step up your game and get into the March Madness spirit, by choosing some delicious healthier options to serve as you watch the tournaments! We’ve highlighted 10 healthy March Madness recipes you can pass around, below. 1. Spiralized Potato Chips with Onion Dip A healthy easy and delicious alternative to traction fried potato chips, the homemade chips are sure to have your guests hoping for overtime. 2. Sea Salt & Lime Popcorn Lightly salted, zesty and bursting with lime flavor, this sea salt & lime popcorn is a must for the snack table! Pop some up for game day or for anytime […]


Nestlé Partnering with New Jersey YMCAs on Start Healthy/Stay Healthy Program

March 9, 2018

The NJ YMCA State Alliance and New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids are partnering with Nestlé to pilot the Nestlé Start Healthy/Stay Healthy parent education program in five YMCA pre-schools throughout New Jersey. Start Healthy/Stay Healthy educates parents and caregivers about the nutritional needs of children during their first 1,000 days of life—from conception to age two. Sue Cornell, Healthy U Director for the NJ YMCA State Alliance, said the goal of the program is to “create conditions and opportunities that develop a foundation of healthy habits for life.” “More than 20% of children in the U.S. between the ages of two to five are overweight or obese, which increases the likelihood that they will be overweight adults. Early care and education programs, such as pre-k, child care centers and Head Start, can directly influence what young children eat and drink, encourage physical activity and promote healthy habits,” explained Cornell. […]


Celebrating ACNJ’s Cecilia Zalkind during Women’s History Month

March 9, 2018

A part-time job turned into a lifetime career for Cecilia Zalkind, President and Chief Executive Officer of Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ). While in law school, Zalkind met ACNJ’s Executive Director and signed on to do legislative policy work. “It probably was the luckiest day of my life,” Zalkind said. “Before law school, I had been a social worker at DYFS, which was by turns challenging, enlightening and frustrating. I knew there had to be a better way to help kids in the system.” She found that “better way” with ACNJ, and has stayed on for 34 years advancing in leadership roles that have helped produce key policy advances in child welfare, early care and education and health care in New Jersey. “It’s been a privilege to work here,” Zalkind said. ACNJ has become the best-known, most respected research and advocacy group for children in the state, with […]


Profile: Charles Brown – Fighting for Social Justice and Street Equality

February 12, 2018

They say if you want something done, give it to a busy person. In this case, that person happens to be Charles T. Brown. Since February 2011, Brown has served as a senior researcher with the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC). He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy both at Rutgers University. In addition to senior researcher, he also wears many other hats including community advocate, national thought leader and is a leading voice in encouraging social justice in active transportation. Brown was hired and continues to oversee the New Jersey Bicyclist Resource Center, which is funded by the NJ Department of Transportation. The New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center (BPRC) assists public officials, transportation and health professionals, and the public in creating a safer and more accessible walking and bicycling environment through primary research, education and dissemination of […]


$1.3 Million Awarded to 66 NJ Nonprofit Organizations to Advance Policy and Environment Changes

February 12, 2018

Grants to increase healthy eating and active living in NJ The New Jersey Healthy Communities Network’s Community Grants Program (NJHCN) recently announced that it awarded grants totaling $1.3 million to 66 New Jersey nonprofit organizations. NJHCN is a coalition of six funding organizations focused on supporting communities that increase opportunities for healthy eating and active living. The 66 funded organizations represent a cross-section of nonprofit, school, and government organizations from across the state and each will receive a grant of $20,000 over a two-year period. The grants were awarded to projects that have a lasting impact on building a culture of health in communities, schools, places of worship, early care, education, neighborhoods, and municipalities. Each grant will address at least one strategy to increase opportunities for physical activity and one strategy to improve access to healthy eating.  Among the initiatives are: organizational and school wellness policies, farmers markets, open streets, […]

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Recent Blog

Raising Children with Healthy Eating Habits

How to encourage your picky eater to incorporate healthy food options into their diet By Marissa Davis, Project Director, Trenton YMCA and NJPHK-Trenton If you think you’re the only parent with fussy eaters at home, think again! It can be extremely tough getting kids to choose healthy options. Forcing these foods sometimes result in tantrums and meltdowns that may make mom or dad want to resort to junk food favorites, just to keep the peace. While it is difficult, it’s also important for parents to monitor what their children put into their bodies, as it sets the groundwork for their lifelong wellness and health. Here are five simple ways to incorporate healthy food options into your child’s diet. 1. Offer Only Healthy Options Your kids don’t tell you what time they’d like to go to bed, so why allow them to dictate what they eat. Adults go grocery shopping, purchase […]

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New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids 2017 Highlight Video

Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice in Camden, Newark, New Brunswick, Trenton, and Vineland.

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