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Maria Solorio Lopez (SURF SSHA)

Scaling-up a Nutrition Education Intervention for Parents with Young Children: Phase 1 Asset Mapping

Maria G. Solorio Lopez; Karina Diaz Rios, PhD, RD

School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts; Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Merced

Malnutrition and food insecurity can limit the ability of low-income families and disadvantaged communities to secure quality food for a healthy diet. According to the California Food Policy Advocates, in Merced County, California 43% of children in low-income families have experienced food insecurity. Since children under the age of five are vulnerable to poor health outcomes and malnutrition and parents and caregivers are often responsible for providing the food environment to their children, it is crucial to have nutrition education interventions that target parents with young children to help mitigate these effects. Healthy Kids is a nutrition education program developed and formative-tested with parents eligible for food assistance in Northern California. We will explore the need for and feasibility of implementing Healthy Kids in the local community through two phases. In phase one, we are mapping community assets that provide services to families with young children, including public, private, and non- profit organizations. The results of phase one will help identify local entities that offer nutrition educational services. To date, information (e.g. name, location, funding type, clientele, services, director or contact) from a total of eight local organizations has been compiled via Microsoft Excel. In phase two, we will interview the stakeholders identified to assess their perceived need for a nutrition education program such as Healthy Kids in Merced County, and the feasibility of offering this program to their clientele. The results of phase two are to be determined.


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