Start Healthy Stay Healthy First Thousand Days Nutrition Program at the HCYMCA

 In Early Childhood Education

Michael Reisman, M.Ed.
Director, HCYMCA Early Childhood Education

Saturday, July 14, 2018 will mark the Hunterdon County YMCA’s inaugural Start Healthy Stay Healthy (SHSH) First Thousand Days Nutrition workshop, which will be held at the Round Valley Branch.

What is the Start Healthy Stay Healthy First Thousand Days Nutrition Workshop?

The Nestle Feeding Infant and Toddlers Study (FITS, 2008) has shown that children’s eating patterns are set by the time they are 24 months old. By 48 months, their dietary patterns are similar to those they will have as adults, as evidenced by the Nutritional Health and Examination Study (NHANES). The Study indicated that once dietary patterns are set in early life, they seem to be set for life.

The Nestle-Gerber funded SHSH parent education workshops are established to improve the diets of young children, aged pre-natal through three years. The Early Childhood Education Department at the Hunterdon County YMCA has been identified by The NJ YMCA State Alliance as a valuable provider to launch these workshops. Workshops will be presented by Clinical Nutritionist Nadia Quraishi, and are offered at a variety of times throughout the summer to make completion convenient for families.

Workshops are divided into six modules, beginning with infant breastfeeding, the importance of breastmilk, and fullness cues. Modules progress through finger-foods and feeding the picky toddler. While Nadia has important information to share with families, the workshops are also discussion-based and include food demos (for adults AND children), recipes and take-home goodies. Upon completion of all six modules (approximately five hours), all families will receive a certificate and free Magic Bullet Baby Care System, as well as a swag bag FULL of helpful samples and giveaways!

When and Where are the SHSH Workshops Offered?

The workshops are offered in two parts and include free childcare and a delicious, healthy meal (for you AND your children!). Saturday classes are recommended, and offer the entire workshop in one day. Classes are offered July 14 or August 18, 10am-3pm. Friday evening classes are offered July 20 (Part 1) and August 24 (Part 2), 6:00-8:30pm. All workshops are held at the Round Valley Branch of the HCYMCA. The workshops are held in the Administrative House and childcare is provided at the Child Learning Center.

Who Should Attend the Start Healthy Stay Healthy Workshops?

The SHSH workshops are open to parents of children aged three or younger, and expecting parents are especially welcome and encouraged. Y membership is not required. Completion of the workshops require that all participants attend all six modules. Expecting parents and parents/caregivers of very young children often gain the most from the workshops. Child Learning Center families are encouraged to attend because the dietary recommendations and lessons presented in the workshops mesh seamlessly with YMCA Healthy U and www.myplate.gov nutritional values. What the children learn at home about healthy eating will be reinforced at school!

The Hunterdon County YCMA and NJ Alliance of YMCAs are proud to offer this amazing opportunity free of charge to the community. Advance registration is required. To learn more or to register contact Michael Reisman, Director of Early Childhood Education at mreisman@hcymca.org or 908-483-4623.

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