Comer Bien: The Challenges of Nourishing Latino Children and Families
Latino families, like millions of others across the United States, do their best to put nutritious food on their tables every day, but the healthiest foods are too often unaffordable or inaccessible. Many Americans struggle to buy enough food for everyone in the family, and sometimes that means choosing cheaper food that is filling, but less nutritious.
Access to healthy foods is often at the crux of child hunger and childhood obesity—both problems that plague the Latino community. About 38% of Latino children are considered to be overweight or obese, giving Latinos some of the highest child obesity rates in the nation. Latinos are also the most likely to live with food insecurity, and they make up nearly 40% of children who go hungry.
To shed light on Latinos’ experiences putting food on the table, NCLR conducted a video and storybanking project that features parents and caregivers from families served by our Affiliates in Texas, Idaho, and Washington, DC. In the film and story booklet that result, these families describe their experiences and challenges in providing their children with wholesome and nutritious food and the theme of comer bien—“eating well.” These materials also feature community-based strategies to better address the current nutrition crisis among Latino children.
Please explore the film and other short vignettes, which NCLR will release over several weeks, which highlight the many factors that influence families’ access to food and the need for a comprehensive solution that tackles these barriers and improves the health and well-being of Latino children.
Click on the tabs below to view video vignettes featuring Latino parents and families.
To view earlier vignettes, please visit our archive.
- Budget-Friendly Shopping
- Community Infrastructure
- Healthy School Meals
Budget-Friendly Shopping: In this vignette, Washington, DC resident Rosa describes the role that her community health center, La Clínica del Pueblo, plays in helping her connect to the WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. Every day, community-based health centers like La Clínica provide health care to families to help them monitor and improve nutrition outcomes and also help their patients enroll in and receive WIC and other social services. Part of the solution to the child nutrition crisis is supporting and strengthening WIC and other federal nutrition programs for Latino and other American families. Read more:Yvette, a mother of two from San Antonio, is one of millions of Latino parents who recognize the important role that nutrition plays in children’s health. With household income tight, Yvette developed her own savvy strategies to maximize the nutritional value of her food purchases while staying within her budget. Stories like Yvette’s show that nutrition education is effective when paired with practical, budget-friendly tips to help families afford to add more healthy items to the grocery cart.
Community Infrastructure: Latinos in urban environments often live in neighborhoods where healthy food is more expensive or lower quality—or nowhere to be found. In this vignette, Emily from San Antonio describes the time and effort she must invest in order to put healthy food on the table for herself and her children. The sacrifices she ma for a healthy diet have come with major successes, but she is constantly searching for a solution that doesn’t take time away from caring for her kids or force her to choose food over bills. With the right investments, this nation can craft measures that make healthy choices easier.
Healthy School Meals: School-based meals play a critical role in combating child hunger and obesity. In this vignette, El Paso parent Clarissa discusses the important ways in which La Fe Preparatory School helps her to improve her child’s nutritional intake and overall well-being.