The Neighborhood House Association (NHA) and California State University Long Beach (CSULB) have conducted a study to validate the nutritional quality of NHA’s preschool menu. Research shows that made-from-scratch meals provided by NHA’s Nutrition Services program offered increased nutrients and vegetable offerings that are beneficial to childhood development. These findings are significant because they reflect the improvement of made-from-scratch menus over traditional “heat-and-serve” options. The report was published in the December 2015 issue of ICAN: Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition, a bi-monthly medical journal dedicated to pediatric nutrition.
Kristine Smith, the Director of Nutrition Services at NHA, was the catalyst for the overhaul of NHA’s Head Start menu. From traditional heat-and-serve, to the nutrient-dense, made-from-scratch options now offered to preschoolers by NHA, Smith has transformed NHA’s menu and dispelled they myth that kids do not like healthy food.
“We want to give the kids our best. That’s why we use fresh, organic, locally-produced ingredients. I am proud of the food we serve because I know the impact healthy eating has on children and families. NHA’s goal is that by introducing children to healthy foods early, it will influence them to continue to make healthy choices as they grow,” Smith said