Author: Kathleen Kramberg, Media Officer, Episcopal Community Services
Through a generous grant from Kaiser Community Hospitals, Episcopal Community Services launched a healthy eating and active living program at their Head Start location in northwest Chula Vista. The program's goal was to reduce childhood obesity and provide students and their families with the information to make healthier choices.
Children learned about new fruits and vegetables and had extended outdoor activity time. They were given nutrition information to take home and share with their families. Cooking demonstrations and workshops were held for parents and Zumba classes were offered at the end of each workshop.
“To be honest, I was a little apprehensive at the beginning, who wants to hear about proper eating habits?" explained one parent participant of the Sprout a Healthy Start program. "NOW I DO! The class was a great eye opener; I truly enjoyed it! THANK YOU ALL!”
By the end of the school year, the number of participants who had BMI’s in the normal range increased by 10% and more than half of the participants reported incorporating more colorful fruits and vegetables into their diets. Pre- and post-surveys of participants showed that all of the participants had increased their healthy eating knowledge, including understanding nutrition labels and portion sizes.