Health

First 5 Gives “Seal of Approval” to Healthy Eating

Elizabeth Betancourt was smiling as she watched her 3-year-old son Soren picking out strawberries, bananas and other fruits in the produce section. Soren seemed to enjoy anything he could get his hands on.

The Betancourt’s were at the Washington Avenue Vons when First 5 San Diego and the grocery chain were kicking off a new program to encourage parents and caregivers to provide healthy food choices to children at an early age.

“It’s good to see programs like this,” said Betancourt. “When you’re a new parent, it’s difficult to know how to teach your son or daughter to develop good habits.”

Soon customers will be able to spot First 5 San Diego Good Start seals of approval on products in all 58 San Diego County Vons. Educational material will also be made available to guide shoppers in making healthy food choices for their children and families.

“This is a perfect example of how the County is developing partnerships with businesses that champion the principles of Live Well San Diego,” said County Supervisor Ron Roberts, District 4, who serves as chairman of First 5 San Diego. “It’s a clever way of reminding families that eating more fruits and vegetables is an important step in keeping children healthy and instilling live-long healthy habits.”

The first five years of life are critical to a child’s development. Kim Medeiros, First 5 San Diego executive director, noted that children develop food preferences as early as 6-months-old.

“This program serves as an excellent resource for parents to turn to for guidance in establishing healthy eating habits,” said Medeiros.

She also suggests parents get their kids involved in picking out and preparing healthy foods.

“Let them pick out the fruits and vegetables themselves,” she said. “Have them help prepare the foods as well and make it fun.”

For more information about First 5 San Diego, please visit www.first5sandiego.org.

Tom Christensen is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact