Raising Healthy Eaters is a series of classes led by local, trained Purdue Extension staff. The program is for parents and providers of 2-5 year olds who want happy, healthy children and enjoyable mealtimes. Classes include activities, food preparation, and discussions that focus on nutrition, eating behaviors and parenting. The curriculum uses facilitated dialogue, taking a learner-centered approach. Participants identify topics of importance to their family and discuss how to apply them to their everyday life. Participants typically meet for 60-90 minutes once a week for 5-8weeks. By using a learner centered approach to teach nutrition concepts, this curriculum engages participants to learn and change their behavior in a fun and safe environment.
Helping children and themselves to develop healthy eating habits
Introducing new foods to children
Dealing with choosy eaters
Managing challenging mealtime situations
Preparing quick and easy meals.
Raising Healthy Eaters has been pilot-tested and evaluated by University of Wisconsin Extension. It is effective at changing participants’ knowledge, confidence and behavior.
Participants were more likely to do the following behaviors after completing Raising Healthy Eaters: offering fruits or vegetables for meals or snacks; turning off the TV during meals;
deciding what is available for their child to eat for meals and snacks; getting their child to try new foods without using dessert as a bribe; and, rewarding good behavior without using sweets
Participants indicated feeling more confident that they could get their child to try vegetables, drink water instead of pop, and taste new foods.Participants especially enjoyed the food preparation and tasting. They indicated that their most significant change was trying new foods with their children.
For more information, contact Donna Vandergraff, firstname.lastname@example.org or Dee Love, email@example.com . To find out if a class is being held in your area, contact your local county extension office http://www.ag.purdue.edu/extension/Pages/Counties.aspx