Food Matters: A Quality Improvement Initiative on Healthy Foods in Pregnancy for a Clinic Population


Poster Presentation

Purpose for the Program

Clinic populations often face multiple barriers to the acquisition of healthy, affordable foods during pregnancy. These barriers include lack of knowledge about optimal nutrition as well as access to whole foods. Clinic nurses are challenged to teach health information in short periods of time during the clients’ visits to the clinic.

Proposed Change

Provide nurses with tools that allow them to teach effectively in short periods of time and provide clients with easy to use, understandable resources about healthy, affordable foods to consume during pregnancy.

Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation

Nurses were provided with Food Matters calendars to review and utilize as teaching tools in the clinic setting. Nurses were asked to perform a short pretest at the initial obstetric visit. In the initial visit, nurses reviewed the calendar and used it as a tool to begin the discussion about healthy, affordable foods to consume during pregnancy. In the month of July 2011, this program was implemented and 105 calendars were provided to newly pregnant patients. Nurses performed a short pretest with each client. Questions were asked to assess the clients’ evaluation of their diet, desire to improve diet, and intention to utilize the foods calendar to improve diet. Post tests will be performed at the next monthly appointment and will assess any improvements in diet, especially those directly related to calendar usage. This program will continue until 400 calendars are distributed and post tests are complete. Nurses will be surveyed to assess comfort level and ease of use with the calendars. This initiative will be evaluated from the caregivers’ and the clients’ point of view.

Implications for Nursing Practice

Nurses who work with childbearing families, particularly in clinic settings, need effective and efficient teaching tools. The Food Matters calendar could serve as a prototype for nurses who are searching for tested tools to utilize in multiple settings.