Healthy Chinatown Coalition discusses child care, nutrition and safety
By Ling-Mei Wong
The Healthy Chinatown Coalition met August 21 to discuss childhood and community health at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center.
The coalition was formed by Asian Women for Health and BCNC, through a one-year grant from the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. It found most children ate fruits and vegetables, based on an eating habits survey of 198 Boston-area families with preschool children. However, more than half of the children drank fruit juice as well.
“I’m concerned about the high consumption of juice for children, along with TV and computer viewing for long periods in the community,” said Kathy Cheng, program director for the Acorn Center for Early Education and Care at BCNC.
The group discussed the survey results and how to address childhood nutrition concerns. Members wanted to find existing services for child care and make sure the community is aware of them, such as the federal Women, Infants and Children voucher program.
Public safety was a concern for child care providers, as Chinatown playgrounds frequently had litter issues and homeless individuals loitering. The coalition planned to invite the Boston Police Department and identify its top three concerns at its next meeting.
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