CHILE Plus Program
The Child Health Initiative for Lifelong Eating and Exercise (CHILE) Plus program improves nutrition and physical activity in preschool-age children through:
- Classroom curriculum and family engagement
- Food service
- Grocery store collaboration
- Partnerships with local health care providers and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program providers
- Staff professional development
CHILE Plus aims to help Head Start children and families:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables, choose whole grains and low-fat dairy products, and drink more water.
- Eat fewer high-fat foods and drink fewer sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Learn how to serve and choose foods in age-appropriate portion sizes.
- Spend at least 30 minutes every day in moderate to vigorous physical activity.
- Spend no more than two hours per day being sedentary.
CHILE Plus reflects the socioecological model, which suggests the need for intervention in the home, classroom, school and community. All these settings affect a child, so the program addresses each of them.
CHILE Plus is the dissemination project of CHILE, a randomized control trial that The University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center (UNM PRC) conducted from 2006-2011. A multidisciplinary UNM PRC team administers CHILE Plus. Rural New Mexico Head Start centers and communities have delivered the program since 2011, reaching over 2,000 families per year.
The New Mexico Department of Health funds CHILE Plus as a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) project. SNAP-Ed is a federal program that encourages people eligible for SNAP to eat healthfully and exercise.