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November 22, 2013

Bluford students learn about nutrition

BLUFORD —  — It was a Mission Nutrition on Thursday at Bluford Pre-Kindergarten as the District 80 Pre-K County Parent Advocates taught children and parents basics of nutrition.

"The goal of our group is to get kids and parents together to re-inforce parenting skills," said April Rubenacker. "We have lots of great parents out there, but the programs help them be more informed."

Thursday's program was the first held in the classroom, with previous programs held as field trip events. Jenny Hicks presented the program, with age appropriate information for children and information for adults about healthy eating and tips for shopping.

"Children mimic what we do," Hicks said. "We as parents want to make healthy decisions about what we eat and our children will make good decisions too. ... Every day, make a point of choosing a healthy snack over an un-healthy snack."

Hicks said making healthy decisions when shopping for food isn't always easy for parents of young children, as they are distracted by their children.

"Start shopping on the perimeter of the store," Hicks advised. "That's where many health foods are found such as fresh fruits and vegetables and meats. ... In the aisles, look high and low on shelves. Food companies pay premium for the middle parts of shelves where the hands automatically go to pick something up. Sometimes the best deals are on the higher parts of the shelf and on the low parts of the shelf where you have to bend down."

Hicks said other advice for helping with the family budget may be buying in bulk and choosing seasonal fruits and vegetables.

"Reading labels is important," Hicks said, adding sugars for prepared foods such as cereal should be at a 3 or 4 and always choose good fat content over bad fat content.

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