In Spring of 2011, pediatricians at Highland selected children whose body mass index was higher than average and who showed other signs of being at risk for childhood obesity and related conditions. They recommended those children and their parents participate in Bite into Balance, a collaborative case study between People’s Grocery and Highland Hospital.
Throughout the case study, each famliy recieved a weekly Grub Box from People’s Grocery and monthly nutrtion classes co-taught by People’s Grocery and Highland Hosptial. Ingrid Beardsley, a nutrition and holistic health educator, taught a range of subjects, including portion sizes, nutrient contents of foods, ingredient labels, nutrition labels, and much more. Raheemah Nioto, a Growing Justice Institute community liaison, provided practical cooking demonstrations.
Teaching both nutrition education and practical cooking skills was critical to the success of the program. It provided participants both with an understanding of healthy foods and the knowledge they need to put that information to use in their daily lives. Throughout the six months, People’s Grocery and Highland Hosptial tracked improvements in both quantitative and qualitative health indicators.
The next phase of Bite to Balance will begin in early 2013 – we redesigned the program during 2012, and look forward to including even more families the next time around.