“MCH Nutrition: From Cell to Society


March 30 – April 1, 2022
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm PST

Hosted Virtually Via Zoom

Wednesday, March 30th

1:00 PM – 1:15 PM               Welcome and Introductions
Download: NLN-Agenda-Mar-30-Apr-1-2022.pdf

1:15 PM – 2:30 PM               Precision Nutrition Starts with Mom: Human Milk Nutrients and Maternal Genetics Predict Early Cognitive Development                                                  

Speaker: Carol L. Cheatham: Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC.

Facilitator: Sandy van Calcaar 

Session Description: 

In this session, Dr. Cheatham will discuss how nutrition is integral to brain development and function and will describe how maternal nutrition is related to fetal and (breastfed) infants’ brain development and subsequent cognitive development. A discussion of nutrigenetics will follow with specific examples using electrophysiological paradigms of how maternal genetics are related to the nutrient content of human milk and how that translates to infant cognitive abilities. Further, a research study in which a Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis is tested with relation to nutrigenetics, epigenetics, and cognitive development in toddlers will be detailed. The importance of maternal and individual nutrition for the development of infant and toddler cognition will be conveyed.
Download: Cheatham-Slides-2022-0330.pdf


Attendees of this session will be able to:

  1. Describe the association between maternal nutrition and fetal/infant brain development, and the specific role of human milk nutrients in this process.
  2. Discuss what nutrigenetics is and how maternal and child epi/genetics mediate the effect of nutrition on cognitive development.

Reading Resources:

  • Cheatham C. L. (2019). Nutritional Factors in Fetal and Infant Brain Development. Annals of nutrition & metabolism, 75 Suppl 1, 20–32. https://doi.org/10.1159/000508052.

2:30 PM- 2:45 PM    Announcements & Break

Angie Tagtow introduces the 2022 I + PSE Short Course

I + PSE Short Course Slides (PDF)

2:45 PM – 4:30 PM   Weight Stigma and Training for a Weight Inclusive Health Care System                                                 

Speaker: A. Janet Tomiyama: Professor, University of California Los Angeles, Department of Psychology, CA

Facilitator: Cristin Harris

Session Description: 

Weight stigma is widespread in today’s society. This session will address the harmful consequences of experiencing weight stigma and how we can become involved with solutions to address this challenging situation for MCH families.
Download: NLN-Tomiyama-Slides-2022-0330.pptx


Attendees of this session will be able to:

  1. Describe the scope and nature of weight stigma.
  2. Understand the role of weight stigma in promoting weight gain and poor metabolic health.
  3. Integrate psychological and biological factors as they relate to weight stigma and stress. 

Reading Resources:

4:30 PM – 5:00 PM   Wrap up, Evaluation, and Preview of Day 2

Thursday, March 31st

1:00 PM – 1:05 PM               Welcome and Introductions
Download: NLN-Agenda-Mar-30-Apr-1-2022.pdf

1:05 PM – 2:00 PM               Panel Discussion: Food Security and Nutrition Security:  Understanding the Differences and Similarities and their Application for MCH Nutrition Programs and Policies                 

Facilitators: Barbara Laraia and Megan Mueller

Session Description: 

This session discusses food security and nutrition security and how these two concepts tie into the challenges facing vulnerable MCH populations.  This presentation will explore how to operationalize the key elements of food security and nutrition security and their application for MCH programs.


Attendees of this session will be able to:

  1. Describe the difference between food insecurity and nutrition insecurity 
  2. Describe at least two examples of how food security and nutrition security can be implemented in MCH Nutrition settings/programs 
  3. Apply lessons learned from speakers to identify at least one opportunity to incorporate food insecurity and/or nutrition insecurity into your state plans and/or future MCH initiatives.

1:05 – 1:25 PM          Addressing Food Insecurity and its Relation to the Problematic Concept of ‘Nutrition Security’

Speaker: Craig Gundersen, Snee Family Endowed Chair, Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty (BCHP) and Professor, Department of Economics, Baylor University, TX.

1:25 PM – 1:45 PM   Nutrition Security:  Critical to Address Hunger, Food Security, Health, and Equity                   

Speaker: Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., DrPH, Dean, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, MA.

1:45 PM – 1:55 PM   Q & A

Reading Resources:

  • Byker Shanks, C., Calloway, E. E., Parks, C. A., & Yaroch, A. L. (2020). Scaling up measurement to confront food insecurity in the USA. Translational behavioral medicine, 10(6), 1382–1389. https://doi.org/10.1093/tbm/ibaa112
  • Gundersen C. (2021). The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Improving Health by Decreasing Food Insecurity. Annals of Internal Medicine, 174(12), 1751–1752. https://doi.org/10.7326/M21-3872.
  • Gundersen, & Ziliak, J. P. (2018). Food Insecurity Research in the United States: Where We Have Been and Where We Need to Go. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 40 (1), 119–135. https://doi.org/10.1093/aepp/ppx058.
  • Mozaffarian D, Fleischhacker S, Andrés JR. Prioritizing Nutrition Security in the US. JAMA. 2021 Apr 27;325(16):1605-1606. doi: 10.1001/jama.2021.1915. PMID: 33792612.

1:55 PM- 2:05 PM    Announcements & Break

2:05 PM – 2:35 PM   Application of Food Security and Nutrition Security to MCH Nutrition Programming                                                 

Facilitators: Barbara Laraia and Megan Mueller

Session Description: 

Using the reading resources for this session and examples from each state’s block grant application, we will work in small groups to discuss how both food and nutrition security is or is not applied within current MCH initiatives, opportunities to further address food and/or nutrition security within state plans/current initiatives, and brainstorm ideas for how to better integrate food/nutrition security into state efforts.  

Reading Resources:

Each NLN member and trainee should review their state’s block grant application and the materials listed above to identify examples of policies and/or programs that address food security and/or nutrition security.

2:35 PM – 2:45 PM               Announcements & Break

2:45 PM – 4:50 PM                Western MCH Nutrition Leadership Network Networking Session

Facilitator: Leslie Cunningham-Sabo

Session Description: 

Back by popular demand: the NLN Sharing Session!  Spend the afternoon with NLN colleagues and trainees networking and discussing what you are experiencing in the field TODAY.  Share the exciting things going on in your state with the rest of the Network. Members and trainees will be asked to submit an abstract of the topic/program they would like to share with the group and we will post these on our website (https://mchnutritionpartners.ucla.edu/western-mch-nutrition-leadership-network/).                                              

4:50 PM – 5:00 PM               Wrap up, Evaluation, and Preview of Day 3

Friday, April 1st

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM    Leadership Workshop: How to Serve Sustainably and Thrive in A Changing Uncertain World

Speaker: Yvonne Ator, MD, MPH

Session Description

In a world that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, chaotic and ambiguous, the call to courage has never been greater. As helpers, the unrelenting stress of the pandemic is causing compassion fatigue and impeding sustainable service. This coupled with Change which is the biggest source of shame in the workplace is creating an increasingly difficult environment to work. Today, we need daring leaders who are able to navigate the uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure of vulnerability required to step up, get out there and make a difference. 

In this 4 hour webinar workshop, we will discuss and learn these skills such as Rumbling with vulnerability – a foundational skill the myths of vulnerability and how to dispel them, how to rumble with hard conversations, how to enter the cave we fear, how to deal with our shame triggers, how shame shows up at work, the difference between armored leadership and Daring Leadership, the components of courage, the 3 commitments we need to make,  the armor that keeps us from being seen at work, how grounded confidence is needed in place of the armor, How to rumble with failure, falls and losses and how empathy and self-compassion help us enter the arena where we desire to show up and be seen and lead. By developing this foundational skill-set, you will be well positioned to begin the process of creating courage cultures and daring leadership wherever you are. 


Attendees of this session will be able to:

  1. Determine Your Call to Courage and Leadership
  2. Learn to recognize how shame, scarcity, and comparison show up in the workplace and life and how they affect engagement, trust, and connection
  3. Understand the Role of Courage and Vulnerability in Daring Leadership 
  4. Learn how to Clarify and Habituate Our Values to help alleviate burnout
  5. Learn how curiosity and rumble skills can be practiced to develop grounded confidence

1:00-2:00                              CALL TO COURAGE AND THE ARENA

2:00-2:15                              BREAK

2:15-3:15                               RUMBLING WITH VULNERABILITY

3:15  – 3:30                           BREAK

3:30 – 4:30                           VALUES AND GROUNDED CONFIDENCE

4:30 – 5:00                           BREAK, CALL TO ACTION and Questions

  • Next Steps
  • Additional Resources
  • Evaluation

Reading Resources:

  • Brown, B. (2018). Dare to lead. Vermilion.

2022 NLN Documents and Resources:

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