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August 10, 2020

Leveraging E-Commerce to Support Children’s Health

As youth-serving organizations develop their re-opening strategies, many are facing operational challenges associated with limited resources. E-commerce tools, including online purchasing and delivery services, can offer  convenient and cost-effective ways for these organizations to procure the healthy food and beverages needed to support healthy environments for youth. 

Healthier Generation is committed to supporting youth-serving organizations in leveraging e-commerce tools to expand children’s access and exposure to healthier foods and beverages, while conserving time and staff capacity.  

Why E-Commerce?  

Where consistent internet access is available, e-commerce or online purchasing tools can help youth-serving organizations and childcare providers increase product procurement efficiency and increase availability of healthier options that can meet federal nutrition standards and program requirements. Over time, children's expanded access and exposure to healthier options can lead to the development of healthier habits.  

Quick Compliance Checks 

Web-based tools, such as the Healthier Generation Product Calculators, can quickly determine a product’s compliance with federal nutrition standards and programs such as the Smart Snacks in School Standards (SSIS) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

Convenient Purchase and Delivery 

When time and staff resources are limited, convenience and speed matter. In our conversations with youth-serving organizations and childcare providers, Healthier Generation has learned that many place a high value on time-saving solutions, such as grocery delivery. One provider noted, “I can order my groceries online any time of day if I need to, saving me about three hours of my day. I am even going to bed earlier.” Youth-serving organizations can also utilize services such as contactless delivery, or buy-online or by phone and pick up in-store, to meet their essential procurement needs

Increased Staff Capacity  

Childcare providers also cited the ability to re-allocate time previously spent on operational tasks, such as food procurement, to other needs, such as organizational development and staff wellness. This is important because we know that when providers feel supported in their own well-being, children in their care will be healthier, too. 

What’s Next for Healthier Generation?   

Healthier Generation is committed to advancing e-commerce solutions as a tool to support the creation of healthier environments for children. Through innovative collaborations with industry leaders, we will continue to leverage e-commerce tools to increase access to healthier foods and support the health of children. We commit to continue learning from youth champions and supporting their work by addressing their challenges.   

How are you leveraging online purchasing to create a healthy environment? Let us know on Twitter at @HealthierGen

Abby Reich

Senior Program Coordinator, Cross-Sector Strategies
Alliance for a Healthier Generation

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