Q&A on our new Reducing Marketing to Kids policy

Last week we featured our new Tap Water Promotion policy. 

Today we’ve got another quick Q&A, this time on our new Reducing Marketing of Unhealthy Food & Beverages to Children policy:

Photo credit: BC Gov Photos

Why reduce childhood exposure to unhealthy food and beverage marketing?

We developed the Reducing Marketing of Unhealthy Food & Beverages to Children sample policy because we believe children have a right to a healthy childhood, free from marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages. We know that marketing influences what kids eat and that most food and beverage products advertised to children are unhealthy. Organizations can ensure all children have a healthy start in life by adopting practices and policies that reduce marketing to children.

How can I get started with reducing childhood exposure to unhealthy food and beverage marketing?

The Reducing Marketing Policy includes a “Marketing Audit”—a handy tool for assessing the presence of unhealthy food and beverage advertisements at your organization. A great first step is to ask yourself the questions posed in the Audit. Questions like:

  • “Do we have vending machines or sell food at our organization? Do we offer primarily healthy or unhealthy products? Do the logos on the vending machines or promote food or beverage brand names associated with unhealthy products?”
  • “During the last year, has our organization promoted or participated in offering coupons, contests, giveaways, or sponsorships for unhealthy food and beverage products or companies?”
  • “Do our public spaces have televisions or active toys and games?”

Your answers to these and other questions can help you to begin to identify areas where you can focus your efforts.

Want to learn more? Check out our new sample policies here.

The HAB45 Executive Committee developed and endorsed these new policies through the support of our funders, with the help of HAB45 staff and input from our Leadership Council members. 

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Q&A on our new Tap Water Promotion Policy

Yesterday we introduced two new sample healthy policies: Tap Water Promotion and Reducing Marketing of Unhealthy Food & Beverages to Children.

Today we’re bringing you a quick Q&A on the Tap Water Promotion policy:

Photo by jfwphoto

Why promote tap water?

We developed the Tap Water Promotion sample policy because water is essential for health. Families with young children and all community members should have easy access to clean, safe, appealing, free drinking water everywhere they go. Providing tap water to young children is an environmentally friendly way to promote health and help prevent early childhood obesity.

How can I get started with promoting tap water?

Even if your organization is slow to pass a formal policy on tap water promotion, there are plenty of steps that you, as a colleague, can begin to practice. Here are just a few ideas (there are many more in the sample policy):

  • Improve the appeal and taste of tap water by serving it chilled, carbonated, or with sliced fruit.
  • Model frequent drinking of tap water.
  • At meetings, provide pitchers filled with tap water
  • Encourage children to drink tap water throughout the day.

Want to learn more? Check out our new sample policies here.

The HAB45 Executive Committee developed and endorsed these new policies through the support of our funders, with the help of HAB45 staff and input from our Leadership Council members.

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Introducing two NEW sample healthy policies

Today we’re proud to introduce two new sample policies: Tap Water Promotion and Reducing Marketing of Unhealthy Food & Beverages to Children.

tap water

Here at Healthy & Active Before 5 (HAB45), we care a lot about early childhood health. We want to do our part to prevent children from developing serious health conditions later in life by making sure they get a healthy start, from birth to age 5.

So we’re all about healthy practices and policies. That’s because we know that practices and policies shape norms and places, and that norms and places in turn shape early childhood health.

One of the many ways we help Contra Costa County agencies, organizations, businesses, and faith communities to pass healthy policies and improve opportunities for little kids to start out healthy is by developing and providing free, sample healthy policy language.

Many are familiar with our four premier sample policies: No Soda No Juice, Healthy Food & Beverage, Breastfeeding Support, and Movement & Play. These sample policies make it so that you don’t have to start from scratch when you decide you want to pass a healthy policy at your organization.

To date, organizations across the county have passed over 35 HAB45 healthy policies like these, touching the lives of tens of thousands of children and adults.

Now we have two new sample policies: Tap Water Promotion and Reducing Marketing of Unhealthy Food & Beverages to Children.

tv junk foodBoth of these sample policies, like the others, support our HAB45 Action Plan aimed at improving opportunities for little kids to start out healthy by creating places and practices that support healthy eating and active play.

Want to learn more? Check out our new and other sample policies here. And stay tuned for a Q&A blog post on the new policies.

The HAB45 Executive Committee developed and endorsed these new policies through the generous support of our funders, and with the help of HAB45 staff and input from our Leadership Council members. 

Image sources: Water and Screen time

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We want more lactation spaces in Contra Costa County.

We know that new mothers often intend to breastfeed, yet only 60% of mothers in California leave the hospital breastfeeding exclusively [1]. The precentage decreases dramatically just a couple months after the baby arrives home.    intlbreastfeedingsymbol

Why? Often it’s due to complications and/or the neeed for more training on good breastfeeding techniques.  The lack of clean and safe spaces to pump or breastfeed while at work and in public also plays a role.

Healthy and Active Before 5 is actively working to increase the number of spaces for new moms to pump and  breastfeed in Contra Costa County.

Thanks in part to generous funding from the Kaiser Permanente Monument HEAL Initiative, we have worked with several Contra Costa agencies to adopt breastfeeding policies and provide accomodation for new mothers.

  • First 5 Contra Costa was one of our first partners to put together a breastfeeding room at their office. Check out First 5′s Breastfeeding space on their blog -> “First 5′s New Nursing Room
  • Monument Crisis Center policy maintains a commitment towards having a supportive environment for breastfeeding mothers.
  • Community Violence Solutions  supports and enables employees and clients to breastfeed during work hours in compliance with California Law (Labor Code 1030-1033).
  • Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association (PCFMA) will have a space in their office for new moms in Concord. PCFMA is also exploring the idea of having a tent at local farmers markets.
  • Contra Costa WIC has a breastfeeding space for employees and clients. Their policy applies throughout the county. WIC also has a traveling tent where moms can breastfeed at local health fairs and events!

Thanks in part to HAB45 mini-grant funds, Contra Costa WIC will have lactation spaces at 3 sites- Richmond, Concord and the Pittsburg Health Center.

Lactation Room at Solomon Temple Baptist Church

Lactation Room at Solomon Temple Baptist Church

  • Solomon Temple Baptist Church in Pittsburg recently decorated a new room for moms to breastfeed. Plus, during World Breastfeeding Week, Solomon TBC hosted a Contra Costa Baby Shower to educate new mothers about breastfeeding. Read more in the Contra Costa Times –> “Pittsburg Baby Shower Geared towards African American Mothers to Be

Healthy and Active Before 5 will be working with more agencies throughout the county to provide space for employees and clients to breastfeed and pump.

Lactation Room signage at Solomon Temple Baptist Church

Lactation Room signage at Solomon Temple Baptist Church

Preventing childhood obesity starts with baby’s first food…. Breastmilk.  If you are interested in doing what you can to help families provide their children with a healthy start consider adopting a breastfeeding  policy at your work place!

Download a sample breastfeeding policy here -> “HAB45 Sample Breastfeeding Policy

If you would like more information or assistance with developing your own healthy policy, contact Tonya D. Love  healthyandactiveb45@gmail.com


[i]Breastfeeding Rates Largely Depend on Hospital Where Mother Gives Birth” Contra Costa Times, July 8 2013

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