Family Spirit Nurture

Family Spirit Nurture is a home visiting module designed for and with Native American families to promote healthy infant feeding and growth in the first year of life and reduce early childhood obesity risk. The culturally-based, strengths-based lessons focus on moderating sugar intake, best infant responsive feeding practices, and healthy eating for the whole family.

Designed to be taught between 3-6 months postpartum, Family Spirit Nurture can be taught as a stand-alone module, or within a broader home visiting or health education program. The program is designed to be delivered by trained paraprofessionals from the local community who develop strong relationships and rapport with participating families. The Family Spirit Nurture lessons are a supplemental module of the evidence-based Family Spirit home visiting model.


The Family Spirit Nurture curriculum has been evaluated through a randomized controlled trial with 134 mothers in the Shiprock, New Mexico community on the Navajo Nation. Findings indicate that the Family Spirit Nurture lessons are associated with: reduced sugar sweetened beverage consumption among mothers and infants; improved responsive feeding practices; longer duration of breastfeeding; and improved infant growth at 12 months post-partum.

Results were published in JAMA Pediatrics, November 2020. This study is among the first early childhood home visiting study to focus on preventing obesity starting before birth, and will contribute significantly to future interventions and policies to support healthy nutrition and early childhood growth among American Indian families.

For more information about Family Spirit Nurture or to use the program in your community, contact

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