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Institute for Healthcare Advancement will Honor Four for Excellence in Health Literacy at National Conference
Date:5/5/2013

four. Health literacy is a challenge for many of the adult WIC participants. The average WIC parent in California has not graduated from high school, and almost 40% of Spanish-speaking WIC parents have less than an eighth grade education. “With such a large percentage of our audience being parents of toddlers and preschool children, we wanted to provide WIC parents with information for their young children in an accessible, easy to understand, interactive and reader-friendly format,” stated WIC project lead and Public Health Nutrition Consultant, Poppy Strode. Following health literacy principles, WIC developed the “I’m 1, I’m 2, I’m 3, I’m 4” nutrition handout series that provides parents of young children health and nutrition information in English, Spanish and five other languages. The handouts were developed for use in for both individual and group settings, where WIC staff can use them in dialog with parents. Written at a fifth to sixth grade reading level, the handouts contain information for the four age groups, and follow the recommendations in the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans, MyPlate, and other evidence-based sources. Each handout includes a food guide, a sample menu, and information about: trusting your child to eat the right amount, family meals, healthy snacks, food safety, age-appropriate play and normal development. In addition, each handout invites the parent to create a sample menu for his/her child, mark play activities to do together, and write down a healthy change that his/her family will make. “These handouts support our parent participants by providing concrete “how to” information for good health and nutrition, that’s easy to understand and implement. The knowledge that participants gain, empowers them to be good role models, to offer healthy foods, and to trust their children to eat the right amount,” said Strode.

Low health literacy is a widespread problem. Research shows that only 12% of American adults possess the ability
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