“In the program I learned the importance of eating healthy and as a family and by doing that we have been communicating more and really enjoying eating together”.
Proyecto’s Early Childhood Education Centers have been in partnership with Children’s Hospital through the Body Works program. A Program from Health and Human Services to advance superior health practices for women by identifying and replicating successful HHS women’s health programs in communities across the U.S.
The program consists of a ten-week module with 10 training sessions each 2 hours long. At the end of each program parents would demonstrate their knowledge of:
Portion sizes appropriate for adults and children ‘s serving sizes;
Using food labels to make healthier choices of what to buy for their family’s meals;
Marketing techniques used by food manufacturers to capture their attention and their child’s attention; and
Healthy food menus & food preparation options that would allow them to create healthy, tasty and time saving meals for their families.
We have been implementing Body Works workshops with parents since 2013 with groups of 10-15 families including their children. We have had over 110 families attend the workshops. The workshops in addition to the above goals have also benefited our families by providing exercise routines, pedometers for parents to measure how many steps they have taken during different time periods in their daily routines at work and at home, information regarding weight control and diabetes and how to prevent it especially among their children. During one year of training and following the recommendations regarding food preparation, dieting and exercise one instructor lost over 30 pounds.
“The use of television has been reduced to 30 minutes per day for my children, and I also learned all the benefits of getting the TV out of the children’s room, now they go to sleep earlier and wake up with more energy every morning”.
"The program gives us a lot of tools, not only to eat healthy but also to save money and try new vegetables and fruits that we are not used to eating or are not traditional in our culture. Now we save a lot of money when we go to the store and because we know what we are looking for it actually saves us time. Because we use the weekly meal planner we don’t have to be thinking about what food to cook during the week because we have the weekly planner and we get to cook faster and eat healthier”.