Nutrition Education

Low-income children are 37% more at risk of obesity compared to other children.1

We help families adopt healthy lifestyles through nutrition education and physical activity promotion.

CalFresh Healthy Living, a Healthy Communities initiative from the California Department of Public Health’s Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch (NEOPB) at The Whole Child, offers free information, tips, and tools that empower low-income families in California to eat healthier and become more physically active. Obesity is not only causing physical issues such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol levels but also emotional challenges like low self-esteem, negative body image and depression.

CalFresh Healthy Living at The Whole Child offers nutrition workshops, redesign of the school lunchroom environment to promote healthy choices and build awareness around childhood obesity through community outreach and events.

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Our Impact

We help families adopt a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and physical activity in partnership with our CalFresh Health Living Team.

175+

Families Served

350

Children Served

135+

Parent Workshops Held

64%

Increase in Client’s Vegetable Consumption

Our Services

Our Health Educators use evidence based curricula in school and community settings to reduce the prevalence of obesity among communities with the greatest health disparities. Our class series are developed to include nutrient rich cooking demonstrations. MyPlate review, how to read food labels, healthy versus unhealthy fats and Rethink Your Drink added sugar demonstration. The Whole Child is the first and only agency to implement the use of Total Physical Response methodology that teaches nutrition concepts through physical movement. This practice helps students retain the information in a fun and engaging way that sticks with them.

We work with schools to co-create a school lunchroom environment that encourages students to increase their fruit and vegetable consumption. Students help name healthy food options through their own creative efforts. These ideas are then executed at the decision point as student select their daily lunch items. Students involvement is critical in not only taking pride and ownership in the project but also encouraging other students at a peer level to take action.

Our Health Educators go out into the community to promote physical activity. They aim to create awareness around the importance of exercise and its overall impact on a healthy lifestyle. The demonstrations are easy to replicate and encourage the whole family to become active together.

Increases in Client's Healthy Lifestyle Habits

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I thought obesity was an issue for adults?

The issue of obesity does not discriminate by age. Children are experiencing obesity starting from an early age. The obesity rate for children 6 to 11 years has more than quadrupled in the past 40 years (from 4.2 to 17.4 percent) as well as children 12 to 19 years have tripled (from 4.6 to 20.6). * National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

What are some great ways to get active in California?

Getting fresh air outside is a great way for children and families to have fun while staying active. Try taking a walk, riding bikes or playing basketball at a local or regional park. Find one near you here www.MapOfPlay.kaboom.org or www.DiscoverTheForest.org.

How do I get my kids to drink more water and less soda?

Sugary drinks like soda, energy drinks, coffee drinks, and sports drinks add more sugar to our diet than any other food or beverage source. The added sugar in these drinks sneaks in extra calories without providing any extra nutritional content and may contribute to tooth decay, increase the risk of obesity, and increase the risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Grams of Sugar on Nutrition Label ÷ 4 = Teaspoons of Sugar

A great way to entice your family to drink more water is by infusing refreshing water with fruits, herbs and vegetables or chill water with lemon ice cubes…no sugar necessary! Here are some of our favorite combinations:

  • Sliced Cucumber & Mint
  • Blackberries, Grapefruit & Thyme
  • Strawberry, Watermelon & Basil
  • Orange Slices & Rosemary

Try one or all of them and let us know what you think on TWC CalFresh Healthy Living Facebook page.

Calfresh Healthy Living Launches Online Video Series

With school campus closures due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Cal Fresh Healthy Living team remained steadfast in its commitment to promote a healthy lifestyle at a critical time in promoting immunity building. The team launched a bilingual series of educational videos promoting healthy eating and physical activity, with topics such as healthy meal preparation, shopping on a budget, tips on staying healthy and active at home. The videos, 37 in all, were made available to the community via Instagram, Zoom and YouTube. Partner school districts also promoted the video series to their students. Because of the team’s dedication, The Whole Child received the CalFresh Healthy Living Grant with a focus on nutrition and physical activity promotion that extends until 2022.

“The Nutrition Education team’s innovative ideas in engaging youth and adults give individuals the tools and confidence to make changes for a healthier lifestyle… [this] is a very important asset to our community… and advocate for healthy lifestyle changes to improve the health of our communities.”

— Alicia Martinez-Vargas, MPH Health Educator, East Region (SPA 7) | Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Monserrat, Safe Families Interim Housing Resident & Nutrition Education Client

Our Stories Matter

Monserrat and her four children were living at The Whole Child’s Safe Families Housing Facility when she heard about the CalFresh Healthy Living Physical Activity classes being offered on-site. Determined to teach her children the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle despite their challenges, Monserrat enrolled her family for one-on-one workshops with The Whole Child’s Nutrition Education team.

Three mornings each week, Monserrat and her children consistently attended the CalFresh Healthy Living classes. Each session started off with a review of brain functions and how physical activity helps the brain become more active and generate new pathways that help with focus and concentration.

Monserrat and her children’s commitment and enthusiasm for the program made each of them an example of resiliency and perseverance. Monserrat is a role model for her children in leading the family towards a healthier and more active lifestyle no matter their circumstances.

“I feel better about myself when I exercise.”

— Monserrat, Safe Families Interim Housing Resident & Nutrition Education Client

There is more we can do with your help!

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Client Eligibility

CalFresh Healthy Living is a public health initiative designed to help reduce the prevalence of obesity among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligible populations. All program offerings are free to all participants.

Families seeking nutritional assistance receive information about CalFresh and farmers markets that accept EBT.

If you are a school or community partner interested in working with our program, please email Sophia Gonzalez at sgonzalez@thewholechild.org.

Funding Partners

public health

The Whole Child - non=profit organization dontate today

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