The Journey to Proper Nutrition -Nishi P. Sophie W.

Baby Eli was brought into this world on the 6th of August, 2015. His mother, who was only 17, had been living out of her car and unfortunately became pregnant. Her baby was born with spina bifida due to the lack of folic acid in her diet which came to no surprise as she lived off of a diet consisting of mainly fast food. Unfortunately, baby Eli passed away because of the effects of his spina bifida only 31 hours after his birth. His tragic death could have been prevented with the proper education and implementation of proper nutrition. Only 0.5 milligrams of folic acid a day could have made the difference between life and death for baby Eli.

Team SOSHI was founded in 2017 to help the Austin Pregnancy Resource Center with the goal of informing and improving nutrition among their pregnant clients.

Initially, the main focus was attempting to get vitamins donated or starting cooking classes so that the women could have healthy food options and the necessary vitamins. However, these solutions did not work because these ideas relied too heavily on the kindness of others and had logistical errors such as no transportation and no way to monitor the distribution of the vitamins. SOSHI still wanted to focus on making better nutrients easy to access and affordable since most of the women come from low income families.

After extensive brainstorming, analysis, and communication with the Austin Pregnancy Resource Center, SOSHI has determined that the most effective way to improve awareness and nutrition through the Austin Pregnancy Resource Center is to help the women find affordable food options through free coupons given away at the APRC.

There will be baskets of coupons spread throughout their facility for the women to take and use to buy healthy foods. The women will also be allowed to turn in 3 receipts proving purchases of fruits, vegetables, and/or vitamins to receive an item from the boutique as an incentive for healthy eating every 30 days. SOSHI is also working with G.O.A.L by placing a nutrition tab on the website that the group is creating. The tab will act as a resource for women to learn more about the nutrients they need to have a healthy child. Posters will be placed around the APRC helping women to learn about different micro and macro nutrients that are vital during pregnancy and informing them about the healthy eating incentive.

The project will be completed by the middle of May, once SOSHI has received coupon donations and completed all of the resources. SOSHI will know that they have achieved their goal when the women at the APRC are choosing healthier meal options and know the benefits of eating healthy. There will also be documentation of women eating healthier when they turn in their receipts documenting their healthy purchases. SOSHI will track this by using the filing  techniques already implemented by the APRC to collect each client’s receipts. The client’s receipts will be placed in their individual folders.

If in the next few months the data given back to SOSHI from the APRC shows that this project was ineffective, the group will review the inconsistencies within the project and find solutions to improve the problems found.

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