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Family Spirit Nurture


The Family Spirit Nurture Text Messaging Service is a tool developed within the Family Spirit Nurture Program. 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, the module 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. 

Research and Impact

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.

How to Use Family Spirit Nurture in Your Community

The Family Spirit Nurture Text Messaging Service is currently available to any interested caregiver. Caregivers can sign up for Family Spirit Nurture text messages through this website.

The Family Spirit Nurture home visiting curriculum is currently available for any interested home visiting programs! 

  • Based on demand, the Family Spirit team at the Johns Hopkins Center for Indigenous Health is making Family Spirit Nurture available for purchase. Tribal nations, organizations, and urban Indian organizations, as well as allied organizations, can purchase Family Spirit Nurture to bring these proven services for families across the U.S.
  • Programs who are already Family Spirit affiliates implementing the full Family Spirit curriculum will recieve the Family Spirit Nurture lessons as an integrated part of the full Family Spirit home visiting curriculum.
  • In order to use the Family Spirit Nurture curriculum, Health Educators must first complete the Program Implementation Course on the Coursera learning website to learn knowledge and skills necessary to implement effectively. To access the Program Implementation Course, please contact
  • The cost for the Program Implementation Course and the curriculum is $300 per Health Educator for non-Family Spirit affiliates.

For learners who are interested in general information about Family Spirit Nurture and its key teaching points, but do not plan to purchase the curriculum, there is a Family Spirit Nurture Basic Course (no cost) and a Certificate Course ($49 paid to Coursera) available at this link: Family Spirit Nurture | Coursera


Interested in More Information?

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