At Parent Leadership Institute, Kids Discover Fun-Filled Ways to Learn Healthy Habits

September 01, 2010

By Janise Chan, HSC Intern

Blog1

Finishing his papier-mache apple with one last bit of colored tissue paper dipped in glue, a boy holds up his artwork. In a normal art class, he would sign it with his name, set it aside, and go out to play, but he picks up a marker and starts to label his apple with the nutritive value, fiber. In Spanish, he writes, “Wash well and eat it all, including the skin, because the skin of the apple has fiber.” He continues, “Fiber helps prevent cholesterol and diabetes.”

Blog2 While parents were learning about how to bring change to schools in the Parents United for Healthy Schools/Padres Unidos para Escuelas Saludables 2010 Parent Leadership Institute, their children were next door, learning more about the food that they eat and how it affects their health. Janette Tello, who led the child care team at the Parent Leadership Institute, gave short lessons on topics such as fiber and the food pyramid. The kids then created different art projects which reinforced what they had learned that day.

On the last day of the training, the children made piñatas in the shape of tomatoes, carrots, and chili peppers, which they filled with fruit and nuts. As Janette explained to their parents, piñatas were historically filled with fruit and nuts rather than the sugary candy which is found in piñatas today.

At the end of the Parent Leadership Institute, parents were not the only ones who learned how to make healthy changes in their families and in their children’s schools. Their children were taught to make better choices for themselves and were empowered to be partners in the effort to improve the health of their generation.

The 2010 Parent Leadership Institute brought parents, school leaders, advocates and community members together for an intensive four-day event and training. Learn more about Parents United for Healthy Schools/Padres Unidos para Escuelas Saludables.