Monday, July 30, 2018

Four Churches Successfully Complete Healthy Children, Healthy Families Program

Some Agape Church participants of the Healthy Children, Healthy Families program show their certificates after the final session of the program.

Agape Love Christian Center, Iglesia de Dios, Mt. Zion CME Church, and New Covenant Christian Church have successfully completed their Healthy Children, Healthy Families program. Over 100 youth and parents/caregivers participated in the eight sessions, 90 minute-long nutrition and fitness workshops. Each session was led at each church by two Peer Health Coordinators who covered such topics as: building a healthy plate and healthy meal preparation, eating God's real foods, choosing healthy beverages, determining healthy portion sizes and how to read food labels. Each session included a 1/2 hour of exercise. 

Feedback from participants is very positive. Natalia, a youth participating in the Agape Healthy Children, Healthy Families program says “I didn’t like whole grains before and I learned that you can learn to like whole grains.” Another youth participant Novea added, “It’s a good program because it encourages you to be healthy and exercise regularly.” Nyla, age 8 asserted that the best part of the program was the fitness.

Members of Mt. Zion CME Church participating in a physical fitness activity, part of the Healthy Children, Healthy Families program.

Mt. Zion CME Church was the first church to complete the program in June. "The Healthy Children, Healthy Families program has given us so much more than we anticipated," says Rev. Theresa Oliver, Senior Pastor. "For the adults and youth that participated, I believe the program did more than just teach them about healthy eating and exercise. It really boosted family values and was such a blessing and reward to see families come together and grow during the program. The children really took to the activities especially the physical activity sessions. They would run and jump around and all the children became friends with each other at the end. This program has great potential for all churches since it connects the older and younger participants with a common goal of eating healthier and getting more physical activity."

“It’s a beautiful program because it provides information that can be shared throughout the community, said Emily Oppenheimer, Program Manager. "We’ve been impressed with the way health information has reached beyond those participating in the program. Church members and church leaders have shared the message of healthy food and fitness throughout their community. We’re building a new generation of health leaders with the children and families who participated in the program."

Five churches are set to begin their programs in the fall, and we anticipate having 8 faith based organizations start their Healthy Children, Healthy Families programs in the spring.

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