An Association of County Children and Families Commissions
Investing in Nutrition and Physical Activity For Children Birth to 5
The Stanislaus County Children and Families Commission’s efforts to reduce the incidence of obesity and ensure children’s healthy development are integrated into multiple programs. These programs touch a variety of populations, from pregnant women, to parenting teens, to preschoolers. By effecting change in the various populations, the programs are ensuring that nutrition and healthy development start before birth and continue throughout early childhood and beyond.
Strategies employed by the funded programs include breastfeeding support, nutrition classes and workshops, and nutrition counseling.
Healthy Birth Outcomes (HBO): This program focuses on improving maternal and infant health with support and education through community support groups, intensive case management services, and outreach. Women and teens who are pregnant or have an infant up to one year old receive peer and professional support and education for breastfeeding and healthy eating habits. High-risk pregnant women can also receive intensive case management by a multidisciplinary team of public health nurses, community health workers, and a social worker. This program has achieved strong positive outcomes through a comprehensive, but targeted approach: Of the 287 participant births in ’09-‘10, 93% delivered term infants; 91% delivered infants weighing 2500 grams or more, and 80% initiated breastfeeding; 77% of the 1,208 participants in nutrition and health classes report making positive health or nutrition changes.
Medical Outreach Mobile (MOMobile): MOMobile is a fully equipped mobile health care unit that delivers full scope primary care services to children 0-5 and their families that are identified as needing greater access to health care. Participating children 0-5 who are affected by obesity are identified and referred to a health educator for one-on-one counseling. In addition, educational materials for the families are disseminated. Referral resources, counseling materials, and educational messages surrounding nutrition and childhood obesity are incorporated into MOMobile’s normal procedures, and 284 children received nutrition services in 2009-2010.
Healthy Start Sites: These programs connect children and families with the support and education essential to create and sustain health by meeting families where they are in the community. Services include a variety of health and nutrition classes and workshops. Breastfeeding support and University of California Cooperative Extension healthy cooking classes are two examples of offerings at the sites. Over 1,000 children and their families received services in this area during 2009-2010.
In addition, School Readiness Programs, Family Resource Centers, and other Prop 10 funded programs incorporate nutrition and activity classes that help combat obesity into their programs. Health and nutrition community events are also sponsored and supported throughout the county with Stanislaus County Prop 10 funding.