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Healthy Lifestyle & Nutrition

The Ohio State University (OSU) LiFEsports

LiFEsports is a free youth development program dedicated to serving economically disadvantaged children in the Columbus community. Their programs include a sports summer camp for youth ages 9 to 15, a youth leadership academy preparing youth ages 15-18 for college and future careers and community-based sports clinics throughout the year. Transportation is free to all campers via buses.
2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, Ohio, 43210
(614) 688-3875

10TV Commit to Be Fit

Stay educated about fitness and staying healthy, and search for local events and stories of interest. Kids can sign up for the Kid’s Club to get emails about staying fit and also find health and fitness events that are happening in central Ohio. They can also make an online fitness plan and check their progress.
770 Twin Rivers Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 460-3700

Visit their website to register online for races, team sports and recreational activities. Users can interact with others who have similar interests and find out about fitness and nutrition. From 5K runs and marathons to cycling races, triathlons, baseball leagues, soccer camps, football tournaments, cheerleading clinics and more, the website allows people to search by sport and by location for local events of interest.
(877) 228-4881

American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) Parent Immunization Website

Provides information about shot schedules, vaccine safety, preparing children for their shots, international travel and more.
141 Northwest Point Boulevard, Elk Grove Village, Illinois 60007
(847) 434-4000

Bikes for All People

Bicycling resources for all ages and levels of riders. A Community Development for All People program, sponsored in part by our Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families initiative, Bikes For All People provides access to bicycles and cycling-related resources to those who rely on bikes as their sole means of transportation. They also accept donations and offer new and pre-owned bikes, parts, tools and cycling gear, group rides, free maintenance classes and an open repair shop.
934 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43206
(614) 670-8685

Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus

Serves youth ages 6 to 18 from all over Columbus. For $5 per year, the club offers a wide range of activities, exercise opportunities and healthy eating classes. They have summer programs available as well. Scholarships are available for families who cannot afford to pay.

  • Milo-Grogan Clubhouse
    1012 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43201
    (614) 294-4366
  • Westside Clubhouse
    115 South Gift Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
    (614) 221-8830

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Parent Immunization Information

Provides parent information about infant, child and teen shot schedules, how vaccines prevent diseases, why kids should get shots and possible side-effects from vaccines.
1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30333
Toll-free: (800) CDC-INFO or (800) 232-4636

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center

Provides up-to-date and reliable information about vaccines for parents and healthcare professionals.
34th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
(800) 879-2467

Children’s Hunger Alliance CATCH Physical Fitness Program

Provides physical activity for elementary and middle school aged children at many after school programs throughout central Ohio. The 12-week program is offered at many sites, including churches, community centers and schools for children from families with a low income. Parents can find out more by talking to the staff of their child’s after school program.
1105 Schrock Road, Columbus, Ohio 43229
(800) 227-6446 or (614) 341-7700

Church and Community Development for All People (CD4AP)

This program provides free clothing and household items to families in need, affordable housing on the South Side of Columbus, an after school program at Lincoln Park Elementary, low cost bike repairs and more. Go online to find out more information about different programs.
946 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43206
Main Phone: (614) 445-7342
Free Store Phone: (614) 443-1713

Columbus Neighborhood Walking Maps

The Columbus Public Health Healthy Places Program has provided walking maps for neighborhoods throughout the city to add more physical activity to everyday life.
240 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 645-5318

Columbus Public Health Food Protection Program

Licenses and inspects retail food businesses including grocery stores, restaurants, bars, delis, convenience stores, vending machines, food carts, and all food sold at fairs and festivals. Their website has information about inspection reports and food borne illness reporting.
240 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 645-8191

Columbus Public Health Healthy Children, Healthy Weights

Dietitians provide free classes on how to modify children’s menus, daily routines, and environments to improve nutrition and increase physical activity. The program is geared toward parents and child care providers of children from birth to kindergarten. Their website also has information about ways to stay active, healthy drinks for kids and more.
240 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 645-7417

Columbus Recreation & Parks Department

Recreation centers offer fitness, sports and exercise opportunities for kids throughout Columbus. Go online to find the location nearest you.
1111 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 645-3330

Columbus Recreation & Parks Department Lunch Program

Their summer lunch program provides free lunches throughout Columbus. Kids ages 1 to 18 can call to find the summer food site closest to them. Some people with disabilities age 19 to 21 are also eligible. Kids can stop by the open sites and get a free breakfast or lunch June through August.
1111 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 645-3300

Community Gardening: Growing to Green Program

Community gardens improve the quality of life for people by adding beauty to a neighborhood and giving community members a way to improve physical activity and eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Gardeners can eat and share the food they grow or sell it at community markets. The Franklin Park Conservatory Growing to Green Program has more information about some of these community gardens in central Ohio.
1777 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43203
(614) 715-8000

Consider Biking

Offers information about local biking events and trails, and promotes bicycling in central Ohio.
4041 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43214
(614) 447-8894

Farmers’ Markets in Central Ohio

Farmers’ markets increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables in city neighborhoods and offer healthy locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Click below for a list of markets throughout town. Many of them accept not only cash and credit card, but also WIC coupons and the Ohio Direction Card (food stamps).

Feeding Your Kids

The Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s, partnering with University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital offers a free 45-day text and email-based program that addresses the real life challenges of feeding kids and teenagers. Contact directly for more information.
700 Children’s Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 722-4824

Fresh Foods Here (FFH)

Partners with small grocers and corner stores in your neighborhood to sell fresh produce and other healthy foods, improving access to healthy foods and helping make the healthy choice the easy choice. FFH partners with stores in five Columbus Neighborhoods: the Near East Side, Franklinton and the Hilltop, Linden, and the South Side. Visit the website to find all the store locations.
360 South Third Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 227-2798

Get Active Columbus

This website was recently started by the city of Columbus as a way for youth and families in Columbus to get people moving, eat well and live healthier lives. The website has free and low cost opportunities for families to live an active lifestyle.
240 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 645-7417

Girls on the Run

Educates and prepare girls in 3rd through 8th grade for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. Girls on the Run combines training for a running event with lessons that inspire girls to become independent thinkers, enhance their problem solving skills and make healthy decisions.
PO Box 21152, Columbus, Ohio 43221
(800) 901-9965


The Good4Growth program offers online toolkits to educate the community on the issues of obesity and other negative health outcomes, by offering offering ways to support a healthy diet, creative play, and a creative environment for children’s development and growth. They have many practical tips on nutrition and staying healthy and active.
7000 Cardinal Place, Dublin, Ohio 43017
(614) 757-5000

Greater Hilltop Area Shalom Zone

Faith based, non-profit organization based in Columbus’ Hilltop community. Some of their programs include Hilltop teen club, teen free store, basketball at their gym, their no-cost Westside CDF (Children’s Defense Fund) Freedom School, mentoring program, produce distribution, free legal clinic and more.
1665 Harrisburg Pike, Columbus, Ohio, 43223
(614) 398-1230

Immunization Action Coalition (IAC)

Offer comprehensive immunization information for health care professionals and the public, including parent handouts about thimerosal, common vaccine questions and more.
1573 Selby Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota 55104
(651) 647-9009 (for Health Care Professionals) (for Parents & Families)

In My Backyard Health & Wellness Program

Provides free physical fitness, healthy cooking, gardening and health education programs during the summer months on the near east side, open to the general public. From yoga to African drums, people can participate in activities tailored to their level of fitness on Saturday mornings during the summer.
1905 Merryhill Drive, Columbus Ohio 43219
(614) 402-2089

Jewish Community Center (JCC)

Through its programs and services, the JCC provides a wide range of recreation and cultural arts, featuring festivals and fairs centered around books, films, and fine art; teen programs, summer and spring break camps for kids with and without special needs, after school programs, preschool and daycare, special events and more. At the JCC there is something for all ages.
1125 College Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43209
(614) 231-2731

Kids Health

This website offers a broad range of information on many topics for parents:

Local Matters

Working with Central Ohio organizations and community partnerships, they provide educational services for children and adults on what healthful food is, where their food comes from, how to grow food and cook food.  They also work with communities in need to help them access healthy and affordable foods.
633 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, Ohio  43206
(614) 263-5662

Metro Parks

Represents 16 natural area parks with more than 200 miles of trails in central Ohio. Go online to find the location nearest you and find out about upcoming programs and events.
1069 West Main Street, Westerville, Ohio 43081
(614) 891-0700

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Center for Healthy Weight & Nutrition

Offers families a comprehensive approach to weight management. Their website has helpful information and resources for families and providers. Go online to learn more about investigational studies, bariatric surgery, the BMI calculator and how to schedule appointments with their staff of dieticians, physicians and recreational therapists.
700 Children’s Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 722-6200

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Clinical Nutrition & Lactation

The experts in nutrition and lactation care can help patients with diagnosis, treatment and support.
700 Children’s Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 722-3080

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Happy Healthy Preschoolers

A free program for parents of children ages 1 to 6 to learn about choosing healthy foods for their children and ways to keep them active. One-hour sessions are taught by community volunteers once per week for 6 weeks. Visit their website for a list of program dates and locations throughout Columbus.
700 Children’s Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 722-3503

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Health E-Hints

Health e-Hints is a free, unique e-newsletter written by pediatric specialists and customized to meet the health and safety needs of your family. When you enter the ages of your own children, you’ll only get the articles that are relevant to your family. The newsletter is completely customized just for you!
700 Children’s Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 722-2000

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Health Information Library

Find age appropriate and medically reviewed health articles, breaking news, games, quizzes, health movies and much more for parents, kids and teens.
700 Children’s Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 722-2000

New U

The New U program is a weight management program for children ages 5 and older and is offered at several locations. Contact the Center for Healthy Weight & Nutrition for more information about the cost and insurance coverage.

  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital
    555 South 18th Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
  • Franklin Park Indoor Adventure Center
    584 County Line Road West, Westerville, Ohio 43082
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital Westerville Sports Medicine & Orthopedic Center
    1747 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43203

(614) 722-4824

Ohio Action for Healthy Kids

Go online to find programs in Franklin County for help in choosing the right foods, getting good medical advice, finding physical activity programs that address weight loss and more. Parents can search by zip code or category.
370 South Fifth Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 341-7700

Ohio Department of Education Food & Nutrition

Their food and nutrition resource page has helpful links to websites of state and national associations relating to food and nutrition.
25 South Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(877) 644-6338

Ohio State University (OSU) Extension

Offers free money management/financial education workshops, HUD-certified, City of Columbus approved homebuyer education, nutritional education programs (EFNEP and SNAP-Ed); community 4-H Youth Development clubs, school enrichment, after-school and STEM programming for a minimal fee, urban agriculture education programs and more.
Franklin County Office: 530 West Spring Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 866-6900

Ohio State University (OSU) Extension: Ohioline

Provides access to hundreds of OSU Extension handouts and resources, covering a wide array of subjects such as agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, community development, and youth development.

2120 Fyffe Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210
(614) 292-6181

OSU College of Food, Agricultural & Environmental Sciences

Their Ohioline website has a lot of information about general nutrition, breastfeeding, food safety, health and many other topics.
2120 Fyffe Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210
(614) 292-6181

Ounce of Prevention

The online handouts have a lot of useful nutritional information for parents of tweens and teens.
700 Childrens’s Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 722-4958 or (614) 722-2861

Play Strong: Physical Activity Program

Nationwide Children’s Hospital – Sports Medicine developed Play Strong, a medically-supervised, wellness program that teaches children who have health problems ways to practice healthy habits at home by using play and fitness plans designed just for them. Children are referred to this program by their healthcare provider and the cost is billed to their medical insurance. Visit the Play Strong webpage for details.
700 Children’s Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 355-6019

Sesame Street in the Communities

Offers providers and parents resources to help children thrive and deal with some common issues that affect children’s lives. Explore topics related to health and wellness, social-emotional skills, and school readiness.

1900 Broadway, New York, New York 10023
(212) 595-3456
To view their additional toolkit:

South Side Roots

South Side Roots is owned and operated by Mid-Ohio Foodbank. The program includes a pay-what-you-can cafe, an affordable fresh foods market, a weekly community meal, and a Kids Cafe meal program for students at South Side Learning & Development Center and the Boys & Girls Club of Columbus.
280 Reeb Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43207
(614) 468-9300

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food & Nutrition Services

Team Nutrition is an initiative that provides nutrition education to children and their caregivers. Their website has resources for kids and families to eat healthy and stay active.
3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22302
(703) 305-1624

U.S. Food & Drug Administration

Their website has helpful information about food safety, dietary supplements, food ingredients, and nutrition. Click to see federal food safety information, or call their hotline to speak with an expert.
10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20993
(888) 463-6332

Vaccination Clinics

Click below to find out more about vaccine and immunization clinics in the health insurance section of CAP4Kids.
Go to CAP4Kids Shots & Vaccines Page

Walk With a Doc

This free program is offered at several locations throughout Columbus on Saturday mornings to encourage healthy physical activity in people of all ages. Families and children can join a doctor and other people looking to improve their health at these free Walk With a Doc events each week. Walking offers many health benefits. Go online to find more information and program sites.
(614) 714-0407

We Can!

This national resource for parents and kids ages 8 to 13 helps kids stay at a healthy weight by encouraging healthy eating and increased physical activity.
PO Box 30105, Bethesda, Maryland 20824
(301) 592-8573

What Vaccines Do I Need for School?

Are you asking yourself what vaccines you need for school? Like most states, Ohio has very specific guidelines about which vaccines are mandatory for school attendance. Students can be held from attending school if they are not up-to-date. Click below to find the most recent list of required vaccinations.

YMCA Adult Diabetes Prevention Program

Eating healthier, increasing physical activity and losing a small amount of weight, a person with pre-diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. In a classroom setting, a trained lifestyle coach helps participants change their lifestyle by learning about healthy eating, physical activity and other behavior changes over the course of 16 one-hour sessions. To qualify, people must be 18 or older, be overweight, and be at high risk for developing diabetes. The cost is free for fully-insured United Health Care (UHC) insurance members, and about $150 to $200 for others.  Contact them directly for complete program details.
40 West Long Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
YMCA Information: (614) 224-1131
UHC Members: (800) 237-4942

YMCA Healthy Weight and Your Child

Focuses on nutrition education and physical activity to encourage healthy lifestyle habits. This program offers classes to families with children ages 7 to 13 who have a body mass index (BMI) in the 95th percentile or higher. Parents or caregivers are required to attend the classes as well. Medical clearance is needed in order for children to participate. Click here to view additional program detail, eligibility information, and the YMCA locations offering this program.   Please note: Classes start September 2015
40 West Long Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 384-2284 or (614) 224-1142

YMCA People Helping People Scholarship Program

Provides a helping hand to youth, adults and families based on individual needs and circumstances. All YMCA members receive the same membership benefits, regardless of whether or not they are receiving a scholarship. Scholarships and discounts are available for 6-month periods. Go online to apply.
40 West Long Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 224-1131

YMCA Strong Well Fit Program

Strong Well Fit is a free 12-week program that helps youth ages 8 to 16 and their parents make lifestyle changes to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. They meet two evenings per week for an hour. Children must have a BMI more than the 85th percentile to qualify (click to learn your BMI), and parents need to be involved as well. Participants do not need to be YMCA members to qualify. Call or go online for more information. It is currently offered at 3 local YMCAs.
40 West Long Street, Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 224-1142

YMCA Y-Kids are Fit

Allows kids to participate in physical activity and learn about fitness and nutrition at the same time. This program is offered at about 60 sites throughout Franklin, Delaware, Fairfield and Pickaway counties, including schools and after care sites. Parents can find out about programs by asking their after school sites about Y-Kids are Fit.
40 West Long Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 224-1131