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Nutrition Education for Newark Moms and Kids

July 20, 2016 | Community News, Community News and Media, Newark

newarkstory-v2Mothers are instrumental in shaping their kids’ diets; so it’s important that they understand how the food and behavioral choices they make can impact their child’s health from prenatal through childhood.

A summer parenting workshop at the YMCA of Newark and Vicinity is bringing that knowledge to expectant mothers. The round-table discussion gets moms-to-be together twice a week to discuss pre-natal and post-delivery health and nutrition.

Meanwhile, YMCA campers ages seven through 12, are also learning about nutrition and trying their hand at food preparation every Thursday.

Christina Pin, a Montclair State University graduate student who is interning with the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids-Newark (NJPHK-N) this summer, is facilitating the two nutrition programs. Pin is pursuing a Master of Public Health and is bringing her knowledge into the workshops to help educate kids and expectant moms.

“Health Promotion Intervention Aimed at Increasing Nutrition Education,” is the formal title of the project, but Pin takes an informal and highly interactive approach to educating both the moms and the kids.

Courtney Price, NJPHK-N Project Manager, works with Pin and helps prepare the curriculum for the classes. “Christina incorporates best practices for providing nutrition education into her sessions in a way that will spark interest for the participants,” said Price. “She explains nutrition in terms the children can understand.”

In week one of their hands-on lesson, the campers made red, white and blue fruit kabobs to commemorate Independence Day. An upcoming class will incorporate math and science by involving the kids in measuring the sugar content of common kid foods like fruit roll-ups and breakfast cereal.

Both programs strive to engage participants and encourage them to make their own discoveries about what’s healthy, what’s not, and why. According to Christina, “What tends to go unnoticed is how nutrition has a significant impact on our daily lives. I hope that what we have been discussing in our sessions will help them make better food choices, which will ultimately help children grow up healthier.”

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