Health has a profound impact on a person’s ability to learn and contribute to society. We know this, yet chronic disease continues to rise in the US, especially among children. The rates of diabetes, for example, are expected to climb by 54% by 2030 to more than 54.9 million Americans, with 45% of that growth attributed to new cases in children, costing $622 billion annually in direct health care costs and lost productivity(1). We also know that there is truth in the old adage – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
That’s why INM is teaming up with local child- and youth-focused community centers to support lifelong health among children and their families in at-risk communities through our Naturally Well program.
Naturally Well employs licensed naturopathic doctors to teach health and cooking classes at kid-centered community spaces, such as local Boys and Girls Clubs or the YMCA. We focus on preventative medicine to establish early habits for lifelong health. While we bring nutrition squarely to the table by basing many of the lessons on quality materials from the Food As Medicine Institute, Naturally Well goes beyond diet, encompassing a fuller understanding of nutrition and how to make the healthiest choices.
Our lesson plans include the following:
- Nutrition, Diet, Gardening, and Cooking
- Vitamins and Supplementation
- Mind-Body-Spirit Connection to Good Health
- Identifying Potential Health Issues and Taking Action
- Involving Family in Healthy Choices and Living
- Incorporating Health & Wellness Exercise
Classes to support existing programs on adult Arthritis and Diabetes
Given the power of children to change the perspectives and behaviors of their families and communities (witness the anti-smoking campaign and Mothers Against Drunk Driving), this program aims to engage the children to engage their families AND to directly engage their parents, siblings, and grandparents in the actual classes.
With the unique structure of this program, we are able to work towards all of our goals through a replicable, customizable, model:
- Educate children about the basics of good health, nutrition, and preventative medicine.
- Give young people the tools to make healthy choices for lifelong good health.
- Enable different cultural groups to better appreciate and integrate their customs within known healthy lifestyle choices.
- Create the beginnings of a health “movement” in the wider community with children at the lead.
Check out last year’s program in San Gabriel Valley:
The 2018-2019 winter session is currently under development in the San Gabriel Valley.