Family Ties: Carrying Nutrition Messages Home
Family Ties: Carrying Nutrition Messages Home

Cooking Together

Children love to share what they learn in school with their families, especially when the topic is nutrition. I frequently hear parents say their children ask for healthier foods as a result of nutrition education. At the Dairy Council of California, we want to help parents engage in the discussion and continue this conversation at their family meals.

Recognizing the importance of communication with families, we include a home connection piece with each of our curriculums. Included is a brief overview of what their child will learn in class, such as “I will learn the main nutrients in each food group” and “I will learn to read the nutrition facts label on food packages”. We also provide activities that the teacher can send home for the family to do together.

Students and families love the homework piece of our school programs. We provide this connection because it:

  • Engages families to be involved with student learning
  • Provides students the opportunity to practice the skills they learn in the classroom
  • Encourages families to make healthy choices

In what ways can you reinforce nutrition messages at home? Here are some suggestions taken from our classroom programs:

  • Take your child with you to grocery shop. Engage in conversation about the foods in your basket like which food groups are there and which foods are your child’s favorite.
  • Encourage your child to help plan and prepare meals at home.
  • Discuss as a family: how will breakfast help us during the day? Which food groups do each of our dinner foods belong in?

Family meals are an excellent way to stay connected and enhance the development of your child. Your family meal can be any time of day, not just dinner. Start or strengthen a commitment to family meals by taking the Eat Better, Eat Together meal pledge.

The first and most important place where children learn healthful attitudes about food is in the home. Children learn best by doing, so get them involved! That is, if they don't get you involved first.