A question we get a lot in our adult classes is, “what can I do to get my kids to eat more vegetables?”. A parent’s influence is extremely important when trying to achieve healthy eating habits among children.
The Food Bank’s nutrition education program has created partnerships with parent-support specialists in school districts within our 21 county service area to bring nutrition education classes to parents. Classes are in English and Spanish and are nine weeks long. Parents learn about: My Plate, the nutrition facts label, healthy snacking, sugar, fat and sodium, and tips to help their children eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Raising awareness on the effects of poor dietary practices and related health risk can help parents choose healthier choices. For example, parents will buy their children high-sugar sweetened beverages, because they’re not familiar with how to use the nutrition label to choose 100 percent juice.
Throughout the series, parents learn the importance of distinguishing natural versus added sugar, choosing whole fruits instead of juice, and creating healthy and nutritious drinks for their kids.
In our nutrition education classes, parents learn the important role they play in teaching healthy habits to their kids. Our nutrition educators encourage parents and provide them with ideas on how to practice healthy habits like: getting creative in the kitchen by making their own trail mix, encouraging physical activity, and most importantly, being a good role model for their children.
As parents learn more about nutrition, they start making and accomplishing healthy nutrition goals at home. As parents start creating healthy eating habits, their children tend to notice and often follow suit.
At the end of the series, parents are always proud to have learned so much. They get excited and feel empowered to guide their family into choosing healthy choices.
For more information or to schedule a class, contact Mary Agnew, RDN, LD, nutrition education manager, at (512) 684-2501 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.