Connect With Parents!

Key Messages for Parents

  • Whole grain breads and cereals help you feel full longer, and are packed with fiber and other nutrients.
  • Refined grains (white bread, muffins, pasta, and white rice) aren't as nutritious as whole grains (whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice).
  • Serve whole grain breads and cereals that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving and no more than 5 grams of sugar per serving whenever possible.

Parent Communication Options

It is important to engage parents on a regular basis in a variety of ways. Here are some ways that you can engage parents at afterschool:

  • Have a conversation with parents at pick up
  • Create a bulletin board with the key messages from each Food & Fun unit
  • Involve parents in daily physical activities and snack time
  • Hold regularly scheduled events each month
  • Healthy cereal taste test. Invite parents to participate in a healthy cereal taste test. Look for whole grain cereals with 5 grams or less of sugar and more than 3 grams of fiber. A few examples are Kix®, Cheerios®, Kashi Heart to Heart®, and Wheaties®. Show parents and kids that cereals can be healthy AND taste good!
  • Hold a whole wheat pancake breakfast! If you serve kids before school, invite parents to a whole wheat banana pancake breakfast. Alternatively, have an upside down day with breakfast for dinner! Try out the recipe in the Food & Fun Recipe Packet. Make extra copies of the recipes to give out to parents so they can make them at home!
  • Whole grain options are available for the same price as refined grains! Display a few examples of whole grains foods that can be purchased for the same price as refined grain options. Include the price tag in the display! For example, whole wheat crackers like Triscuits®, whole wheat bread or pita, and/or whole wheat tortillas. Shop around and see what other whole grain options you can find at a low price!

Refer to the Parent Communications document, Newsletter Article, and Parent Handout to reinforce the messages in this unit of Food & Fun. All three are available in Spanish and English, and the Handout is available in Chinese.

  1. Parent Communications: Ideas for parent engagement, as well as a newsletter, "Get the Whole Story on Whole Grains" and email message, "Healthy Habits Power Tips: Go for Whole Grains" to distribute to parents.
  2. Newsletter Article: The formatted version of the parent Newsletter
  3. Parent Handout: "More whole grains, less added sugar for good health". Send this handout home in a mailing, insert it into your next newsletter, or have copies available for pick up at your program's sign-out area.