Nutritional health enhances our ability to learn, and for the young child, it means enriching their quality of life and enhancing their potential contributions to society. The goals of nutrition services is to achieve this through nutritional assessment and counseling, nutrition education to the entire family, provision of nutritious meals, empowering and educating parents so they can make healthy choices for themselves and their children.
Nutrition Assessments and Counseling
Nutritional assessment and counseling services are offered to Head Start families under the direction and care of our SETA Head Start Registered Dietician who is contracted on a consultant basis. Nutrition counseling services are offered to parents of any child at nutritional risk. This includes children who require any therapeutic diet or are underweight, overweight or anemic.
Nutrition Education for Families and Their Children
Ongoing nutrition classes are offered for SETA Head Start families. The purpose of these classes is to educate families about the importance of nutrition and show them how to offer nutritious food choices for their families. Some nutrition education classes offered include "Basic Nutrition" and "Healthy Snacks for Preschoolers." As part of the SETA Head Start curriculum, teaching staff integrate nutrition activities and discussions as part of their daily lesson plan.
Collaborations for Child Nutrition
SETA Head Start collaborates with other agencies in Sacramento County to enhance our comprehensive nutrition services program. These agencies include:
- CRP (Community Resource Project)
- CSUS Family and Consumer Science Department
- EFNEP (Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program)
- Health Education Council
- La Leche League
- Sacramento County Hunger Commission
- Sacramento County WIC
- WIC (Women, Infants and Children)
Healthy Kids Project: Beginning in the Summer of 2008, SETA Head Start has been the proud partner to the University of California, Davis' Nutrition Science Department and their "Healthy Kids" grant project, funded through the USDA. SETA Head Start parents not only participated in the taking of the "Healthy Kids" and "My Child at Meal Time" surveys, but more importantly, in the actual creation of both tools. The pictures included in the tools are Head Start families in their homes and in Head Start centers. Nutritional classes were designed for the parents according to their answers in the surveys, with interventions specific to the individual needs. We are looking forward to the upcoming year with new portions of the grant to take place. Stay tuned!
EFNEP and HEC
SETA Head Start is proud to announce its partnership with EFNEP (Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program), as well as the Health Education Council (HEC). EFNEP was founded in the 1960's to assist low-income families and individuals to gain valuable knowledge in the area of nutrition. HEC leads the Network for a Healthy California-Children's Power Play Campaign program in the Gold Country Region which includes 14 counties (Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mono, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba). HEC provides a variety of education materials including individualized activity booklets called "Idea & Resource Mini-Kits", "Kid's Get Cookin' Cookbooks", posters, parent brochures, and more. All materials are free from HEC. Although all three great agencies have joined for minor events in the past, SETA Head Start is excited to share with our families and staff, new and innovative workshops that will be offered by EFNEP and HEC to SETA Head Start centers. The goal of these partnerships is to assist our families in making sound nutrition decisions in the kitchen, while keeping the checkbook in mind, and to provide current information to staff to better serve our families.
SETA Head Start and Women Infants Children (WIC) collaborate to share the goal of providing nutrition education. Together, we encourage proper nutrition practices for children and their families.
The Hunger Commission is made up of representatives from health and community service agencies in the Sacramento area, including a SETA Head Start representative. Monthly Hunger Commission meetings are held to discuss issues such as food stamp reform, sustainable and community food access, and hunger and poverty in Sacramento County. The Committee targets the locations most affected and combats the problem faced by members of the identified community.
I am Moving I am Learning
SETA Head Start will roll out a project beginning school year 2007-2008 to implement the "I am Moving I am Learning" curriculum at SETA-Operated Program Head Start centers. This program will promote more physical activity in the SETA Head Start classrooms and children's homes, as well as healthier food choices.
Families Understanding Nutrition and Food Access (FUNFAre) Project through Health Education Council
SETA Head Start has joined the Health Education Council's activities to increase nutrition education in the SETA Head Start classrooms through hands-on class activities and school gardening projects. Select SETA Head Start centers are also participating in hosting farm stands at their location to increase family access to local fruits and vegetables. Parent workshops and parent participation in manning the farm stands is an integral part of this project.
"Assume that children are basically good and
provide opportunities for this goodness to flourish."
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)