Nutrition Education

44% of children and teens in California are not exercising regularly.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.

child nutrition whittier

Our Impact

The goal of the nutrition program is to reduce the prevalence of obesity and other related chronic diseases in vulnerable communities through health education, smarter lunchrooms, movement and outreach efforts.

275+

Nutrition Workshops Held

40%

Children State they are Eating 5 Servings of Fruits and Vegetables per Day after Taking our Nutrition Classes

2000+

Community Members Reached through our Outreach Efforts

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.

Be The Champion of Your World!

We have the power to be the change we want to see in the world.

  • Learn about healthy eating on a low-budget and physical activity by participating in free nutrition education and physical activity workshops.
  • Become a Champion and join or develop a Health Task Force & Coalition in your community.
  • Stay connected and “like us” on TWC – CalFresh Healthy Living Facebook page.

champions for change - nutrition services los angeles

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.

“I am proud to be the only CalFresh Healthy Living grantee that uses original and innovative concepts such as S.E.L.F. (Source of Energy and Life Force) and MyPlate Tectonics to teach cultural diversity through nutrition. The Whole Child is the only agency to use Total Physical Response (TPR) Method to teach Nutrition,”

— Sophia Gonzalez, Project Manager, CalFresh Healthy Living Program
Cora, Nutrition & Housing Client

Our Stories Matter

“We were homeless when we got help from The Whole Child. I felt helpless in our situation. We didn’t have access to healthy food to eat and my children were getting used to not eating vegetables.

The Whole Child helped my family pay our rent deposit and find a place to live. The nutrition classes from The Whole Child Champions for Change helped us make eating healthy easier. My family now has a routine to eat at the same time each day so we no longer are overeating. I have also made several of the recipes from the cookbook I picked up at the nutrition class to help my family eat healthier food.

Things are looking up for us now. We are now eating more vegetables and less junk food. We have a place for my kids to call home, I have gone to several job training sessions and am actively looking for a job to support my family. My life has change because it have less stress and a daily routine has helped. I imagine a future with so many more opportunities.”

— Cora, Nutrition & Housing Client

There is more we can do with your help!

Within the past decade, we have seen a 20% increase in child obesity but there is something we can to help the children in our community. Shannon Brann-Zelaya, Principal at Los Nietos Middle School reported that students are teaching their parents how to read the nutrition label after nutrition education classes provided by The Whole Child’s CalFresh Healthy Living team.

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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

department of public healthpublic health

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