UCLA School of Public Health Field Studies Program

Community Health Sciences

Field Placement: Center for Education and Nutrition-Integrated Center for Child Health Care
Heredia, Costa Rica
Ligia Delgadillo
Student Name: Shauna Harrison
Year: 2005

The Complete Child: Improving the Physical, Emotional, Social, and Mental Potential of Costa Rican Youth is a nutrition education project with the CEN-CINAI (Center for Education and Nutrition-Integrated Center for Child Health Care) in Barrio IMAS in the province of Heredia, Costa Rica. The CEN-CINAI is a government run organization that aims to create optimal conditions for nutrition and development in low-income communities of Costa Rica.

The CEN objectives are: 1) To improve the nutrition situation of the maternal-child population that live in poverty; 2) To give the Costa Rican youth the possibility to develop their potential physically, intellectually, and socially in an integrated manner; and 3) To promote education in poor families that favors an adequate development of the child and healthy lifestyle. In concordance with these above-mentioned objectives, this project focused on improving the nutrition education delivered through the Integrated Attention component of the CEN. The project began at the end of June- 2005 with an initial baseline observational assessment. It was noted that the nutrition curriculum was not up to par with the guidelines proposed by the Costa Rican Ministry of Health and, thus, the project was created to aid the center in realizing the objectives and guidelines set out by the Ministry. This was attained via nutrition-related activities delivered on a bi-weekly basis with the children as well a complete revamp of the nutrition curriculum for the center’s future use. A nutrition manual was created which contained the lessons performed with the children as well as ideas and materials for future lessons and activities and was presented at the culmination of the project in September of 2005 to the director of the CEN in Barrio IMAS as well as seven other directors who run all 14 centers in the province of Heredia. The curriculum manual will be used in all of these centers in Heredia to augment and supplement their current activities and lessons.


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