Interactive Evening Gets Parents Learning about Nutrition

Your child’s wellbeing isn’t only influenced by family wellness; school has a role to play too. Luckily for students of Mangham Elementary School in LA, the school understands this responsibility, and last month invited children and their parents to participate in Family Nutrition Night, an innovative, hands-on experience as part of the school wellness programme.

Developed by LSU AgCenter nutrition agents Cathy Agan and Terri Crawford, the programme educates parents and children alike on the importance of making more healthful choices and including activity to combat childhood obesity. This is according to LSU AgCenter nutrition agent Danna Gillett, who presented information on the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables and being more physically active.

She noted that parents and their children participated in experiential learning activities at six stations, learning about making good choices to lead a healthy life. ‘The parents and the students go through the six stations together so each of them can learn these important lessons,’ Gillett said. The various stations included information about proper portion sizes, the amount of added sugars in beverages, the importance of eating a healthful breakfast, how to make wise snack choices and ways to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives.

According to Mangham Elementary School Principal Angie Snuggs, the event is part of the wellness programme they’ve been implementing in the school for the past three years. ‘We’ve been trying to do a little bit every year and this year, we decided to partner with the AgCenter to help us maximize our efforts and bring their nutrition expertise to our school,’ she said. ‘We started a walking programme three years ago, and now we’re only serving healthy snacks. We’ve just been trying to implement something new every year.’

Nancy Lawrence, one of the parents attending with her daughter, praised the Family Nutrition Night for bringing information to the children and the parents. ‘They really had the children’s attention when they showed how much added sugar is in the different drinks,’ she said. Second-grade student Lonna Hughes, a second-grade student, added that she now better understands why she needs to eat good food and her body needs to be healthy. She noted, ‘I already knew that, but I haven’t been doing it. It will be hard, but I will try.’

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