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Nutrition & Physical Activity Program


Nutrition & Physical Activity Program

Harvest of the Month Resources


Los Angeles Collaborative for Healthy Active Children

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Mini-Grant Awardees


Healthy Kids at PACE Head Start

The project is a partnership between the USC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and PACE Head Start, a Federally-funded program providing early education, promoting health and development and promoting school readiness for children ages 3-5 years old. The goal of the Healthy Kids project is to promote fruit and vegetable consumption, increase physical activity and promote healthy beverage consumption among children enrolled at five of the 18 PACE Head Start classrooms, selecting those with the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity. The project presents nutrition education classes using the curriculum Color me Healthy, developed by the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Office. One lesson plan is delivered to each of the 5 classes per month reaching 300 children. Parent are informed about the classes through a monthly newsletter (English, Spanish) sent home. In addition, the project team will train 200 classroom teachers using the Color me Healthy curriculum to prepare them to deliver the curriculum in the classroom in the future. Additional training will be conducted with parents of Head Start students reaching 50 parents to raise their awareness of the program and prepare them to assist in the classroom in the future. A key component of the four lesson plans presented was taste testing of a fruit and vegetable at each session. Lesson plans are developed and delivered by CSUN Public Health students completing their MPH Practicum. The long term plan is for PACE Head Start teachers, Health and Nutrition Coordinators and parent leaders is to present additional lesson plans in the classroom using the Color me Healthy curriculum. The project goal is to reach 300 children, 200 teachers, and 50 parents with the Color me Healthy curriculum at PACE Head Start.

For additional information please contact the project director, Cary Kreutzer, MPH, RD, Asst. Clinical Professor Pediatrics, USC Keck School of Medicine at the USC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.; (323) 361-3830.

LIFT For Teens - Levantate!

LIFT For Teens - Levantate! was originally founded in 2008 to address the overweight and obesity issues confronting families in lower socioeconomic communities in our country, especially Latinos and African-Americans who suffer from the highest rates of these conditions. Our mission evolved to encompass providing the tools, knowledge, experiences and support necessary to empower teens and their families to create a life of health, vitality and positive self-esteem. LIFT programs focus specifically on proper nutrition, physical activity and positive lifestyle choices with special emphasis on encouraging personal choice and family engagement.

LIFT will deliver programming aligned with the LA Collaborative Educational Initiative "Rethink Your Drink," promoting the consumption of water and healthy beverages through nutrition education. The goal is to reduce childhood overweight, adult obesity, and the risk of Type 2 Diabetes among low-income, CalFresh eligible, and Latino residents of the City of San Fernando, while providing programs "without walls". Multilingual, multi-cultural services will be free to low income children and families and will be delivered locally, incorporating existing community resources.
12 unique nutrition education and physical activity demonstrations will be provided and are designed to:
Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables
Reduce consumption of sugary drinks
Increase healthy beverage consumption
Increase physical activity
Reduce sedentary behavior
Reduce childhood overweight, adult obesity, and the risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Increase family participation
For more information about LIFT and our programs, please visit,, or contact our offices at 415-507-1564 or info@LiftForTeens


Health and Wellness Initiative in El Monte

In 2011, the City of El Monte adopted the Health and Wellness Element for the General Plan with the following proposed components: 1.) addressing healthy lifestyles and physical activity; 2.) access to healthy food; 3.) public safety and security and; 4.) access to recreation. From this commitment made to the people that live, work and play in El Monte, the Health & Wellness Initiative was born, creating programs and services dedicated to fostering policy change that supports the development of healthy, active environments for all. 

With funding from the Los Angeles Collaborative for Healthy Children mini-grant, the City of El Monte will launch a nutrition education and “Rethink Your Drink” campaign to residents through various outreach efforts in the summer months of 2012.  In an effort to educate residents on healthy beverage and food options, the campaign will target children  and their families that participate in the free lunch program at 11 summer sites.  The goal of this campaign is to educate adults and children on making healthy food and beverage choices and to involve community agencies, businesses and residents in continued education and outreach efforts.


USC- School for Early Childhood Education


USC-SECE- Head Start and Early Head Start program serves more than 600 infant/ toddlers and preschool children and their parents every year. USC-SECE operates 6 fully licensed Head Start centers for children 3-5 years of age and serves over 164 infant/toddlers and pregnant mothers in our Home Base, home visiting, and program. Our program is based on research identifying the conditions that foster learning during a child’s earliest years- warm, supportive relationships with parents and other caregivers, as well as an environment that fosters a sense of security, confidence and personal identity. Focusing on the children’s mental, physical, emotional, and social growth, and by involving the entire family as well as the community, we prepare children for a smooth transition to kindergarten. The Early Head Start (EHS) program is for infants, toddlers, pregnant women and their families. EHS programs enhance children's physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development; assist pregnant women to access comprehensive prenatal and postpartum care; support parents' efforts to fulfill their parental roles; and help parents move towards self-sufficiency. The Home Base program brings EHS staff into a family’s home every week to support child development and to nurture the parent-child relationship. Twice per month, the program offers opportunities for parents and children to come together as a group for learning, discussion, and social activity.


Nutrition Education has been a critical part of our program. Over the past two years, the program has taken a proactive position to promoting nutrition education and fitness awareness among families and staff. This has included increasing the amount of fitness activities integrated into daily routines for children, nutrition assessments and dietician counseling when necessary and extensive nutrition education workshops and trainings offered to parents at least twice per month.


Through collaboration with the Champions for Change, Los Angeles Collaborative and USC-SECE program are working together to promote and increase daily fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity and healthy beverage consumption in addition to increase nutrition-related knowledge through hands on experiences in healthy cooking classes.


USC- School for Early Childhood Education’s staff   presented 15 workshops to families at all Centers (7) for more than 500 families. After reviewing all the workshops presented by either myself, Family Advocates, Community Partners there were a total 546 families and staff who participated in the workshops, including parents from Weems School, Norwood School and Vermont School.


All families received at least 6-8 healthy recipes for nutritious meals and harvest of the month newsletters, with at least 35% of parents surveyed indicating they prepared recipes provided. 


Los Angeles Collaborative
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