Buckets of Fun!: Empowering low-income urban Native American youth to make nutritional changes through container gardening

Authors

  • Michele Companion University of Colorado - Colorado Springs

Abstract

A pilot program to address some cultural and economic barriers to better health among low income Native Americans living in urban areas has been developed in conjunction with Indian Centers. This program is designed for children and at least one parent, to facilitate communication, transmission of cultural knowledge, and to reinforce positive food behaviors. Teaching components focus on access to nutritional, non-processed food and herbs, centering around container gardening. The program takes a social empowerment approach, providing tools for greater control over salt and fat intake. Follow-up interviews indicate an increased use of herbs and spices, combined with a decrease in salt, butter, and fat use in food preparation as a result of participation. This has important public policy implications and supports expanding programming at urban Indian Centers.

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