Purpose of Study Shoshone, Idaho, is a small, low-income town with limited access to quality food centers and fitness facilities. This community medicine project was designed to give children and parents information about proper nutrition and physical activity during the existing town lunch program.
Methods Used The lunch program in Shoshone provides free lunches to all children less than 18 years of age during the summer months while school is not in session but provides no nutritional information to participants. Handouts were prepared for children and parents using mypyramid.gov, including information about food groups and exercise ideas for families. The handouts were available in Spanish and English and were personalized for each child by age and activity level to indicate how much of each food group the child should be eating daily. Parents and older children were personally counseled on proper nutrition and exercise.
Summary of Results The community was very receptive to the nutritional information provided. Most parents and older children showed a strong interest in the recommended daily amounts of each food group and enjoyed the information about pursuing an active family lifestyle. There were 116 children who came for free lunch on the day of the project, and most of them received information and counseling personally or through their parents.
Conclusions Reached The residents of Shoshone, Idaho, have a need and a desire for education regarding proper nutrition, and this project aimed to begin that process. The free lunch venue proved to be an appropriate teaching site to educate underserved parents and children about nutrition and exercise.
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