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Keyes parents learn nutrition
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Over 25 parents graduated from health and nutrition classes Tuesday morning, Dec. 18 after completing a two-month program at Keyes School.

The classes were part of a School Readiness program provided by the Stanislaus County Children and Families Commission.

"We pilot tested this program at Wakefield Elementary School in Turlock," said Rocio Huerta-Camara, Stanislaus County health educator. "We heard about this at a conference and heard it does wonders. We had such a huge success at Wakefield we wanted to provide this program for all School Readiness schools."

School Readiness Coordinator Luis Molina spoke to the parents about taking responsibility for what their children consume and her belief that once children are taught healthy habits, they will carry those habits with them all the way through adulthood.

Providing parents with basic nutrition information so they can make gradual lifestyle changes was one of the main goals for this program.

Parents learned that increasing physical activities and eating healthier are two important factors to prevent diseases such as obesity and diabetes.

The classes were taught from health educators from the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency. During the 10-week course parents learned how to read nutrition labels, cook healthy foods and also participated in healthy activities with their children.

"There was not only instruction, but they (parents) watched food being prepared and tasted it," Karen Poppen, superintendent for the Keyes Union School District, said. "If your family won't eat the food it can be as healthy as can be but it won't do any good."

Esther Gonzales, a graduate of the nutrition classes, said she learned not to eat too much fat, switched the milk in her house from whole to two percent and substitutes water for soda and fruits for candy. Gonzales recommends this class to parents that want to improve their families healthy habits.