2015 Golden Nugget Award


We’re so honored to have received the “2015 Golden Nugget Award for Excellence in Reducing a Key Barrier to Breastfeeding: Poor Family and  Social Support” from the California Breastfeeding Coalition. This award is in recognition of the Breastfeeding Peer-Support Training we offered last summer for promotoras in the Monument Community of Concord. The training was made possible through collaboration with our partners and Monument Impact and Contra Costa WIC, and through funding provided by the Kaiser Permanente HEAL Zone Initiative. Read more about the training here.

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On Milk: One Percent, Two Percent, Red Cap, Blue cap?


Remember that classic Dr. Seuss book, “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish?” It’s a whimsical, if a bit non-sensical, tale about near endless variety. It’s a stretch to say that there are near endless varieties of milk to choose from, but the title of Seuss’ book makes me think of the varieties of milk available on the market. One percent or two percent? Red cap or blue cap? Non-fat or low fat? What’s the difference? And (since we’re concerned with early childhood here), which type of milk should little kids of different ages drink? Here’s some info that may make it clearer:

Milk is a vital component of a child’s diet. It provides many important nutrients like protein, calcium, and potassium. Experts agree that for children under one year of age, breast milk is best. From the age of 1 to 2, if a child is no longer breastfed, she or he should drink whole milk and water. After age 2, children need less fat in their diets. Serving lower fat milk is an easy way to reduce fat and keep all the good nutrition provided by milk. Non-fat and low-fat milk (1% or lower) are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for all children over 2 years old.

The table below clarifies the nutrient content of 1 serving of milk (1 cup) in four different fat contents (whole, reduced, low-fat, and fat free) with the emphasis on total fat, protein, calcium, and calories. Low-fat milk has the same amount of calcium, protein, vitamins and minerals in comparison to whole milk. It also has less fat and fewer calories than whole milk while keeping the same great taste. Whole milk is high in saturated fat. Diets with high saturated fat are known to have health implications like raising cholesterol levels and, in turn, increasing one’s risk for coronary heart disease.


Hope this helps clarify some of the differences between various types of milk. The short story: for two-year-olds and older provide 1% or non-fat milk.

Stay tuned for a blog post on flavored and sweetened milks.

Reviewed by: Kitty Lenhart, MEd, RD of Contra Costa Child Care Council and John Muir Health. Thanks Kitty!

Photo credits: http://www.healthyeating.org/Milk-Dairy.aspx

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Partner Spotlight: Mt. Diablo CARES Afterschool Program

image (3)Thanks to a new healthy policy passed by a Mt. Diablo Unified School district’s Afterschool Program, over 275 kindergarteners across Central and East Contra Costa County are ensured quality opportunities for healthy eating and active play. This past fall, Mt. Diablo CARES (Collaborative for Academics Recreation and Enrichment for Students) adopted a comprehensive wellness policy that ensures the program will provide quality healthy eating, active living programming to all students, families, and communities that the program serves. Program-wide the policy reaches 2,100 students grades K-12 at 15 school sites in Bay Point, Concord and Pleasant Hill.

image (1)Through the passage of this policy, Mt. Diablo CARES staff have demonstrated their commitment to serving as positive role models and promoting healthier eating habits among youth and families. For example, it has become a part of their program culture to ensure that only healthy foods and beverages are provided at meetings and events. “The impact of the policy has been very positive with staff, students, and parents,” remarked Rosa Palomino, Nutrition Coordinator. “The children look forward to the activities and are excited to take it back home to their families.”

WA 1Through the policy, staff offer students a comprehensive curriculum focused on healthy eating and physical activity promotion. At school events, students showcase the importance of nutrition and healthy eating by having a Re-Think Your Drink station where students and parents learn about the health harming effects of sugary beverages and sample a variety of fruits water recipes. Students also have a garden—a teaching tool that helps students make the seed-to-table connection. Each day after school, all participating students receive a healthy snack that consists of fat-free or reduced-fat milk, fruit, and crackers. Before the students head home for the evening, they receive a healthy supper. Mt. Diablo CARES also provides a minimum of 30 minutes a day and up to 60 minutes per day of structured physical activity using pre-approved CATCH & SPARKS physical education curriculum. The program provides indoor and outdoor area for movement and play equipment and music that encourages physical activity.

SA PLAY2HAB45 congratulates Mt. Diablo CARES Afterschool Program, and the 19 Contra Costa partners that passed healthy policies in 2014. Together, we’re making Contra Costa a healthier place for young children and their families.


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Snapshot of Success

Screenshot 2014-09-04 13.38.24

It was a busy and productive year for Healthy & Active Before 5. Take a look at some of our latest accomplishments:

1. We inspired 11 Contra Costa organizations to pass healthy policies:

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Congratulations to all the organizations that passed healthy policies this year. Thank you for sharing our vision and continually supporting our efforts to create healthier communities. Take a look at our Policy Library to see the full list organizations that have passed healthy policies, including links to the policies they’ve passed.

2. We distributed nearly 3,000 maps to childcare providers in the Contra Costa County.

With assistance from Child Care Council nutrition staff, we distributed PittsburgAntioch, and Bay Point Plan to Play brochures to childcare providers and low-income families across East County. The maps highlight parent approved parks and provide important information about park locations and park features.

3. We achieved our goal to train 20 promotoras in the Monument Community in breastfeeding peer-support.

HAB45 provided a training series for Spanish-speaking community health advocates or promotoras on providing peer-counseling to breastfeeding mothers, primarily in Concord’s Monument neighborhood. These promotoras are now trained and ready to make a difference within the Contra Costa County community.

4. We evaluated 60 parks and playspaces in East Contra Costa County, in partnership with East County Regional Group (ECRG) sponsored by First 5 Contra Costa.

5. We shared information, ideas, and resources on preventing childhood obesity with over 50 Contra Costa agencies.

We successfully convened 2 Leadership Council meetings that took place in September 2013 and April 2014. At the September 2013 meeting, we highlighted the “Sugar Bites” campaign and debuted two new healthy sample policies: Tap Water Promotion and Reducing Unhealthy Marketing. At the April 2014, we provided a training on advocacy and lobbying rules for non-profits, presented by Alliance for Justice. We also introduced HAB45’s public policy agenda, and celebrated 6 organizations new healthy policies.

6. We developed 2 new model worksite policies: Tap Water Promotion and Reducing Unhealthy Marketing to Kids.

Providing tap water to young children is an environmentally friendly way to promote health and help prevent early childhood obesity. We believe children have a right to a healthy childhood, free from marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages. Organizations can ensure all children have a healthy start in life by adopting practices and policies that reduce marketing to children.

We are looking forward to this year’s endeavors, so stay tuned for updates!

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