In response to the growing obesity rates and inactivity levels among Latino children in America, Kraft Foods (America's leading food company), in partnership with the National Latino Children's Institute (NLCI) created Salsa, Sabor y Salud (Food, Fun & Fitness), the first-of-its-kind healthy lifestyles program for Latino families.
Salsa, Sabor y Salud is a national program focused on providing creative, comprehensive and culturally relevant tools designed to encourage healthy lifestyles among Latino families. It is a dynamic and interactive eight-week curriculum that teaches children and their families about healthy lifestyles in community-based settings. By providing necessary resources to educate families, Kraft seeks to increase awareness of proper nutrition and diets among families who lack the means to obtain information on diet and exercise. Kraft believes that it is important to deliver informative material that is flexible and comprehensive enough for the whole family to understand.
At no cost to families, the Salsa, Sabor y Salud program is a bilingual, 8-session program that teaches lifelong healthy behaviors with the entire family and focuses on eating healthy, limiting portions and getting daily physical activity. The program was created and developed in response to the fact that Latino children are at a greater risk for developing health problems including heart disease and obesity. The National Latino Children's Institute (NLCI) developed the curriculum kit in partnership with Kraft Foods.
Facilitators of the program utilize a kit that provides a number of strategies that can also be used at home and by children's programs, including facilitator guides, fun songs and games, visually stimulating posters and other engaging learning tools. The Salsa Sabor y Salud program is an ongoing, national health care education program for Latino families and to date, it has seen significant results with more than 16,000 Latinos participating.
A 2008 evaluation study conducted by the Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing at the University of California, Los Angeles among three participating organizations implementing the Salsa, Sabor y Salud program found that students had significantly higher healthier behavior, more frequent communication with their family and upper grade students demonstrated higher grade levels.
Further, in a study conducted by the Center for Prevention Research and Development in 2005 at the University of Illinois, 93% of the Salsa, Sabor y Salud program participants reported that their families ate more nutritious meals, while 98% reported sharing what they learned with others, including family, friends and neighbors. In addition, 99% of surveyed participants reported being satisfied or very satisfied with the program.
The Salsa, Sabor y Salud program has received the American Dietetic Association/American Dietetic Association Foundation Presidents' Circle Award for Nutrition Education in 2007.
To become a facilitator of this program or for additional information about Salsa, Sabor y Salud, visit www.nlci.org. For information on Kraft, visit www.kraft.com.