A three-year, $ 150,000 grant from The California Endowment and annual grants from St. Joseph’s Health Support Alliance allowed Stone Soup to:
- Hire nutrition consultant Diane E. Carson, MS, to develop a specialized curriculum for Stone Soup
- Expand its Food and Fitness Fun Program to serve 2,038 children at 49 sites
- Recruit six nutrition interns from California State University at Long Beach (CSULB)
- Host 50 meetings for 470 parents and care givers to increase their knowledge about nutrition and fitness
- Hire fitness coordinator to visit sites daily and introduce children and staff to new exercises, games, stretching and walking as well as competitions with other Stone Soup programs.
The program evaluation by Wendy Reiboldt, PhD, CSULB professor of consumer affairs, will be given to educators to use the Stone Soup Food and Fitness Fun Club @ as a model for their schools. Dr. Reiboldt’s evaluations showed:
- 87 percent of the children learned more about healthy eating.
- e Parents reported that about a third of the children drank more water and less soda; 26 percent ate more fruits and 22 percent ate more vegetables. After their children had been in the program, the parents reported their children ate chips 15 percent less often and candy 26 percent less often.
- 71 percent of parents reported they bought foods such as dried fruit, carrots with hummus, edamame, whole wheat bagels, soy butter, soy chips, soy nuts, pita crisps, red bell peppers, sugar snap peas or radishes for their children’s snacks.
- 47 percent of the children tested showed greater knowledge of physical activity, including strength, endurance and stretching.
- 44 percent of the parents reported their children engaged in physical activities such as soccer, bike riding, dog walking, martial arts or dance an average of 31 hours a week – well above the 90-minute goal set when the program started.
In addition, parents noted their own lives had changed as a result of what their children had been learning: 27 percent said they were more active since their children started the program.