The participants were also asked what sort of snacks they liked to eat or asked their favorite foods. Many answers included, chips, cookies, chocolate and nine participants answered with apples or other healthy choices (Appendix A). While watching the participants eating lunch one day, there were no more than 10 who brought healthy snacks When assessing dental hygiene, 41 participants were asked if he/she brush his/her teeth and if they went to a dentist. Subjectively, out of 41, 25 stated that they go to the dentist and 27 stated that they brush their teeth.
Objectively, out of 41, 28 had discolored rotted or out-of-line teeth. By using these different types of data, the realization of maybe the participants telling us about brushing their teeth and going to the dentist was the “right” answer and maybe felt that they had to say yes. Given all this information, it was apparent that teaching in dental hygiene and healthy eating was in order. A local dentist helped to provide a tooth and brush model in order to teach participants to brush their teeth.
The same dentist contacted Colgate and was able to get toothbrushes and toothpaste donated to give to each participant to keep in their locker at Harbor House. Coordinators of the project went to a facility that stocks supplies to make little crafts and school projects. It was here that they were able to make doorknob hangers to remind the participants to brush their teeth in the morning, turn it over and brush them at night. Small groups of the participants were taken into the bathroom to be taught how to brush their own teeth in front of a mirror.
Teaching was done to ensure the clients understand that if they don’t brush their teeth, “bad” things could happen, such as fall out, etc. For eating healthy, the coordinators made a food pyramid poster to be mounted in either the community room or in the lunchroom where everyone eats to remind them of the healthy choices that should be made in a day. A teaching project was done in which they got food magazines, cut out pictures of food and identified which food group that food belonged in.
Everyone got his or her own picture of the food pyramid to keep or to color. Different fruits and vegetables were brought in for the participants to try and maybe discover if they liked it or not. This was done to show healthier options of snacking rather than a Little Debbie cake or chips. When talking with program coordinator and other staff, they were very helpful in pointing out the observations in which they had made. Parents or guardians buy easy things for lunch, such as, frozen dinners, cakes, chips, and cookies.
Research was then implemented and multiple snack foods and frozen dinners were pulled and compared for fat, calorie, and carbohydrate content. Price was also a consideration in pulling the foods in which to compare. The results ended with a majority of unhealthy foods being less expensive and when taken into consideration the amount of the supplemental income as listed above, healthy foods almost seem to be out of reach as far as money is concerned, especially for a month’s supply (Appendix B).