Objective: To examine the impact of a family-based nutrition education program on nutrition knowledge, diet, physical activity, and food purchasing behaviors of Latina mothers and children participating in Northern Virginia Women, Infant, Children (WIC) programs.

Methods: Surveys were administered to mothers (n=15) using a pre-test/post-test design. The family-based nutrition intervention included 1) Discussion and lecture on food labels, food purchasing, portion sizes, and healthy meals, 2) Experiential learning focused on preparation and storage of low-cost, healthy meals incorporating WIC foods, and 3) A Zumba class and discussion on physical activity.

Results: The data revealed improved diet such that mothers reported increased fruit and vegetable consumption, decreased juice consumption among their children. Mothers reported their children were more physically active. Further, mothers prepared more meals at home using raw ingredients.

Conclusions: The findings are significant in that they support growing literature of the success of family based interventions. Further, these data show the importance of integrating experiential learning activities such as cooking and physical activity with the more traditional didactic methods.

This research was supported the Virginia Department of Health and the HRSA funded Virginia Commonwealth Public Health Training Center.



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