Catholic Health Services goes to Capitol Hill

Catholic Health Services participated in a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill to address how to Improve Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in early care and education. Mr. Angel Alvarez, Program Director for Centro Mater Child Care Services, advocated in promoting wellness and nutrition in children.  Some of the programs which Centro Mater is participating in includes:   gardening, health fairs, nutrition education for families and staff, physical education and healthy menu changes. This briefing was an opportunity to demonstrate that creating healthier environments in the early childhood education setting can be challenging, but possible, if there is support from the provider, parent, and Foundation.  With the assistance and endurance of Ana Cleves, MPH, RD, LDN, Dietitian for Centro Mater Child Care Services, Ana was able to receive a grant from the National Early Care and Education Learning Collaborative.  She led an initiative in Centro Mater to make healthy menu changes and certify the center as a breastfeeding friendly facility.  This is being accomplished through the “Taking Steps to healthy Success” Grant with the help of Early Learning Coalition. “I felt honored to discuss all the hard work that the Centro Mater team has accomplished over the past few years. Through our teachers, food service team and dietitian we are helping families’ lead healthier lives” states Mr. Alvarez.