Rethink Juice Drinks

sugar bitesAccording to the FDA a “juice drink” is any beverage with some (but less than 100%) fruit juice that is diluted with other ingredients like added sugars. Juice drinks, soda, flavored milk, and sports drinks can destroy teeth, and lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes. All of these drinks contain added sugar, and most of the time a lot of it.

It’s hard to imagine how much sugar is in a juice drink container, but with a simple math equation, you can visualize how much sugar is in any type of juice drink, soda, energy drink, sports drink—you name it.

Nutrition Facts labels on beverages and other food products list the grams of sugar per serving. Remember not every drink is 1 serving!

If you divide the number of grams by 4, you get approximately the amount of teaspoons in that serving.


grams (g) of sugar ÷ 4 =   teaspoons of sugar

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Here’s an example of a typical juice drink:

← This juice drink contains 27g of sugar.


27g ÷ 4 = 6.75 teaspoons of sugar 


Now looking at those sugar cubes, would you put that many into a child’s drink?

Protect kids. Sugar Bites.

Posted in added sugar, flavored milk, juice drinks, Nutrition Facts, sports drinks, Sugar Bites, sugar sweetened beverages, tooth decay, type 2 diabetes | Leave a comment

Breastfeeding Training for Promotoras in the Monument Community


Over the past two months, Healthy & Active Before 5 (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.

The local news source ConcordPatch recently ran a story on this training which you can find here.

HAB45 collaborated closely with Contra Costa Health Services’ Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program and Monument Impact to offer this free 20-hour training called Loving Support.

Loving Support trainings are usually offered in English, but many Spanish-speaking educators have found it challenging to translate common breastfeeding terminology and concepts in a way that is clear and culturally relevant.

Of the trainings, one participant wrote in Spanish:

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE “It has helped me to increase my knowledge and understanding of how to help other moms, promote the importance of breastfeeding, and share information that breast milk helps the baby to grow up healthy. The training has helped me to have confidence in my ability to express myself in helping and promoting breastfeeding.”

Jeanette Panchula, a bilingual Public Health Nurse and certified lactation consultant, is leading the training sessions. Panchula has provided breastfeeding education and support as a La Leche League Leader since 1975. She translated portions of the Loving Support materials into Spanish for the Concord class.


Loving Support Trainer, Jeanette Panchula

“Many mothers quit [breastfeeding] because they don’t see any other alternative when they come against a barrier,” Panchula said. “The more people in the community who are knowledgeable, the better the chance that when a mom has worries, someone will know someone who will be able to recognize the problem and respond positively with, there is help and I’m here to get you to them.”

As of last Friday, we achieved our goal to provide 20 promotoras in the Monument Community with the necessary skills to offer quality, evidence-based breastfeeding peer counseling to breastfeeding moms in the community, so that more breastfeeding woman are connected to community resources.

These promotoras are now trained and ready to make a difference within the Contra Costa County community.

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This training was made possible thanks to the generosity of Kaiser Permanente Northern California Region Community Benefit Monument HEAL Zone Initiative and Kaiser Permanente Diablo Service Area Community Benefit. We are also very grateful to our partners from Monument Impact and Contra Costa Health Services WIC Program who contributed in-kind resources, participant recruitment, and staff time.


Posted in breastfeeding, Monument Community, Monument Impact, promotoras, spanish speaking community, success, WIC | Leave a comment

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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