On Thursday, June 26, the Salt River Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program held a Fit WIC class for parents and their children at the WIC Building within the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s tribal campus. Fit WIC is a program that hopes to increase physical activity and overall health habits for children and their parents.
The program encourages parents or caretakers to be active with their children. Through age-appropriate physical play ideas, healthy snacking and education, childhood obesity and diabetes can be prevented. Finding time to play with your children every day and educating them about healthy foods can lead to a lifetime of healthy living.
During the Fit WIC class, three families were present. The topic for this specific class was “What is Portion?” Parents were asked for their opinions about portion size and how this related to their children.
WIC Community Nutrition Specialist, Jamie Schurz, hosted the class along with SRPMIC Community Nutrition Specialist Ena Beach. They both elaborated on healthy eating and portion size. They gave out various promotional items related to healthy eating for children and also got the parents to engage in conversation about their children.
“Always look at your food labels,” said Schurz. “One bagel equals four servings of grains—not many people realize that.” One parent responded with “It’s a lot of work.” Schurz elaborated and explained to her class that reading food labels is time consuming, but it will surely pay off in the end. “Once you get the hang of it, it comes naturally,” added Schurz.
After a discussion and better understanding about portion, parents and their children were able to participate in a hands-on healthy snack activity. The class made apple sandwiches which consisted of sliced apples, peanut butter, raisins, chocolate chips and granola. This was accompanied by infused water which had cucumbers, honeydew, mint and ice. This proved to be a success, as the children visibly enjoyed these activities with their parents and finished both healthy snacks.
After Fit WIC participants finished their healthy snacks, they grouped together for a short exercise activity with SRPMIC Senior Physical Fitness Specialist Rachel Seepie. They danced to four popular songs, one being similar to the nursery rhyme “Hokey Pokey.” The children all danced around the room with smiles on their faces, as they unknowingly got in some daily physical exercise.
The class ended with story time. Beach read a book to the children. The children and their parents all gathered around Beach as she read. The children asked an occasional question and Beach happily answered them.
This was the second of six classes. The last class session will be held on Thursday, July 24 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the WIC Building (east end of Health Center on Osborn Road). For more information, contact Jamie Schurz, SRPMIC Community Nutrition Specialist, at (480) 362-7300 or Jamie.Schurz@srpmic-nsn.gov.