Family & Friends

Family & Friends Day is a great way to build stronger “bonding” with our youth and family. Nothing is more important than family. GET CONNECTED and join us on youth family & friends day trips (camping, exploring and fun parks).


Healthy Body = Healthy Minds. Children ages 2 to 11 consumed about 9 percent of their calories from junk food. On a given day, the researchers calculated, 34.3 percent of children and adolescents age 2 t0 19 eat junk food. Two-thirds of them take in at least 25 percent of their calories from these meals.

How Children Develop Unhealthy Food Preferences

By: Suanne Kowal-Connelly, MD, FAAP

Have you ever wondered why it’s so difficult to get kids to eat their vegetables? Not wanting to eat broccoli is rooted in a great deal of more complicated issues than just not liking green food. How we come to like certain foods is associated with many factors and is referred to as food preferences.


How Food Preferences Are Developed:

In the first 2 years of life—when learning is constantly taking place—food preferences are also forming. Most are learned, but some are innate. A child’s food preferences directly affect eating behavior, which in turn is linked to overall health, wellness, and the formation of obesity.

For years now, the food and beverage industry has used this knowledge to their advantage and encourages the development of unhealthy food preferences in children of all ages through various marketing and advertising techniques.


The Food and Beverage Industry’s Role in the Formation of Food Preferences:

How often have you seen a food advertisement for broccoli? Healthy foods are advertised less than 3% of the time in comparison to their counterparts. This has a direct impact on children’s food preferences—considering food and beverage companies spend $2 billion dollars a year on food marketing campaigns directed at children.

The fast food industry spends nearly 5 million dollars a day marketing products high in sugar, fat and salt, while also suggesting portion sizes grossly disproportionate to a child’s energy needs. Increasingly, fast food companies are also using toy tie-ins with major children’s motion pictures to try to attract young people. Remarkably, studies demonstrate that even very young children exposed to persuasive ads can develop food cravings for unhealthy foods that they have never even tasted!

This has a direct consequence on the formation of potentially lifelong, unhealthy food preferences associated with the development of obesity and all that comes with it. Although food preferences can be unlearned, this is often a monumental task as we age.


The Problem Continues as Children Grow:

Older children are bombarded with ad campaigns through every existing marketing vehicle. Walk through any supermarket and notice where the children’s cereal is located. It invariably sits enticingly at a child’s eye level. Point-of-sale placement of candies and sweets are another well-thought-out marketing tactic.


What Parents Can Do:

Parents need to be well-informed about the potential negative health consequences of most current food marketing practices. This information can help them plan accordingly in reference to media exposure and the introduction of unhealthy foods in their child’s diet.

If you’re not satisfied with the choices available in your child’s school cafeteria, get involved in your school’s parent-teacher organization and brainstorm some healthful alternatives, as parents and teachers all over the country are doing.

Start A Campaign

You can start a campaign to support our youth. Our youth depend on you. A campaign can be as simple as raising campaign support funds right at your job. There are no special forms needed.  More info at

  • Plan an America Youth Foundation Event.
  • Inspire others to give and support America Youth Foundation
  • Sponsor an America Youth Foundation Event
  • Get Connected.  Encourage others to connect with America Youth Foundation

Survival Needs

Many of our neighborhood kids struggle with stability and everyday survival needs. Life is more challenging for a youth to excel when many lack simple everyday survival needs as food, shelter and stability. More importantly, a healthy diet can inspire healthy living. Each One Reach One-Together we can help these youth with through these difficult times. GET CONNECTED? More info @


Join our volunteers and give back to local nonprofits, youth, kids and schools at many of our hosting events. Now more than ever, our kids need YOU. Identify your strengths and plug in? There are many ways you can help make a difference with many Mentoring and Youth Programs. Sometimes just your presence can make a world of difference.

*All Volunteers must submit to a Background Check prior to becoming a Volunteer.