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By Jason Jowers, MS, MFT


On March 1st, 2023, OneOp hosted a webinar called “Increasing Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Exposure: Tools for Practitioners Serving Families Experiencing Limited Income.” This webinar featured Dr. Julie Rutledge and Taren Swindle, two fantastic academic professors that shared their expertise on working with families experiencing limited income and how that affects food security and proper nutrition.

The goals of this webinar focused primarily on summarizing the states of nutrition for children and low-income families. Also, presenters shared the evidence-based practices of the WISE intervention, a classroom or home-based approach to increasing children’s exposure to fruits and vegetables. They also shared ways to apply WISE’s evidenced-based practices to design outreach activities to engage families in improving nutrition.

Webinar Highlights

  • This webinar began with sharing current research on the connection between low-income families and overweight/obesity status. “For every 1% increase in low-income, there was a 1.17% increase in overweight/obesity status” (Vazquez & Cubbin, 2020). This cumulative research really highlights the importance of nutrition education for children in low-income families.
  •  The WISE intervention has been implemented by early care and education teachers to teach kids about nutrition and expose them to preparing and eating fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. “WISE job is to provide exposure, so parents don’t have to.” The primary goal is to provide weekly, hands-on, food experience lessons that expose kids to different types of fruit and vegetables to then share this experience with their parents/caregivers at home.
  • The WISE intervention includes teachers being healthy role models, stress-free feeding experiences, and the use of Windy the Wise Owl, a cute and friendly mascot.

Archived Viewing and CE Info

If you missed the live event, you can watch the YouTube archived recording on the webinar event page. Free continuing education credits for this event are still available! Case Management CE credits are available through March 2024, and the UT Social Work CE credits are available through March 2025.

This webinar is also part of OneOp’s Food Security in Focus collection, offering live and on-demand programming related to food security.

Among our nation’s active-duty service members and their families, an estimated 24 percent are food insecure. Food insecurity adversely impacts racial/ethnic minority populations, lower-income populations, and rural and remote populations. Additionally, a rise in economic insecurity throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has contributed to increased food insecurity in vulnerable populations. Join OneOp as we focus on expanding food security for the military family and mobilizing family service professionals at federal, state, and local levels to work together on this issue.