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 "Just add SPICE," SOTA's new NIH-funded health program for parents of children 3-6 prepares to launch


In 2010, State of the Art, Inc. will release its NIH-funded program, Just add SPICE: a recipe for happy, healthy kids 3-6. This learning resource of video and print materials follows four families as they attempt to instill healthy habits in their kids by using a set of proven positive parenting skills represented by the acronym SPICE. The DVD will be distributed by PBS Home Video.

In the series, Roni Leiderman, PhD, an author and leading parenting expert, works with four families to focus their use of the SPICE parenting skills on several goals that experts say are key to preventing overweight and obesity in children: eating more fruits and vegetables, getting more physical activity, reducing screen time - that is, time spent in front of TV, movies, computer and video games - and making mealtime family time.

"I think Dr. Leiderman is exceptional. It is reassuring, as a pediatrician, to know that the program I am referring a patient to is saying things that I would love to teach my patients but have no time." - Howard Taras, MD, Professor of Pediatrics at University of California San Diego and Chief Medical Officer for the San Diego Unified School District.

The program was recently focus group-tested with parents and caregivers of children 3-6. The parents were almost universal in their praise of the materials. The final program is being quantitatively evaluated in a national study of parents to determine its effects on their ability to adopt healthy lifestyles with their children. Results of this study will be released in late 2010.

"Every parent wants their children to grow up to be happy and healthy. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy to achieve that goal. The SPICE parenting program gives parents the ideas and the tools they need to accomplish that goal." - Roni Leiderman, PhD, Dean of the Mailman Segal Institute for Early Childhood Studies at Nova Southeastern University.

Production and research on this project were funded by an SBIR grant from the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Click here to watch an introductory video clip.

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