I wanted to share a bit more about NRC’s Healthy Kids project. As previously mentioned, one aim of the program will be to increase physical activity and good nutritional choices among children on the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Other objectives of this project include:
- Increasing the number of children and family members in a healthy weight range
- Improving knowledge of nutritional information
- Increasing the amount of physical activity among children and families
- Improving knowledge of menu options and preparation methods that support nutrition for people using federal commodities and having limited funding for food
- Developing a community garden to increase availability of fresh food
- Decreasing risk of diabetes among youth and families
- Creating a culturally relevant curriculum that can be shared with other reservations so the project can be replicated
We selected the Crow Creek Head Start to pilot this project with us because the leadership there is motivated to impact the health of the children and families who participate in their program. We also selected this site because:
- The Crow Creek Reservation is located in one of the poorest counties in the U.S. Poverty affects access to healthy food, recreational activities and information.
- More than half of the children at this program site are out of the normal weight range — either obese or underweight.
- The Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System reports that the prevalence of obesity remains the highest among low-income American Indian children.
- From 1994 to 2004, there has been a 68% increase in diabetes among American Indian youth and Alaska Native youth ages 15-19 years.
- American Indians have the highest rates of type 2 diabetes in the U.S. and are three times more likely to die from the disease than the non-Native population.
- There is a lack of culturally relevant information on nutrition and wellness. Our curriculum will address the specific needs and learning style of our participants.
We at National Relief Charities are very excited to be working collaboratively with the Crow Creek Head Start, Rural America Initiatives, the Aberdeen Area Indian Health Service, our funder General Mills and other service providers concerned about wellness on the Crow Creek Reservation. Together we will make a difference.