Nutrition and Health
The incidence of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other nutrition-related diseases is elevated in socio-economically disadvantaged and Hispanic populations, including those who participate with Sunday Friends. We believe that children are handicapped in school and in life when their own health and their parents’ health is compromised.
Sunday Friends teaches nutrition and health so families will make changes in their habits:
- Sunday Friends is a sugar-free and junk-food-free program. Unhealthy food is prohibited at all times.
- In every program, volunteers partner with children to prepare and serve nutritious dishes with lots of fruit, vegetables and protein.
- The dishes our families prepare at home and bring to share must also meet our nutrition guidelines.
- Parents and teens learn from nutritionists, nurses and other health professionals through a dozen classes every year.
- Children play board games that teach healthy eating, especially our Healthy Friends Game, that we developed in collaboration with San Jose State University’s Nutrition and Food Science Department with help from Cisco Systems.
- Parents visit our Blood Pressure and Health Station to have their blood pressure checked and to receive referrals to affordable health care. Our public health nurse is reporting improving scores!
- Professionals from community health clinics and collaborating nonprofits regularly bring additional health services into our programs, including glucose, diabetes, dental, vision and hearing screenings as well as hands-on help with enrolling for health insurance, CalFresh and appointments at affordable clinics.
- 91% of parents are shopping for healthier foods than they did before and 85% believe that their health has improved. 81% believe that their children's health has improved.
Families tell us:
"Sunday Friends has taught me to be a better person and a better mom. I have learned about health and obesity dangers."
"We have changed our eating habits and are living a healthier life."
Our Program Evaluation demonstrates how successful Sunday Friends is with Nutrition and Health.