Today, we are happy to spotlight parent leader Claudia Muñoz, whose efforts as part of Parents United for Healthy Schools have resulted in positive changes for healthy eating and physical activity at her children's school and schools across Chicago -- as well as in her own home. Congratulations to Claudia and all the parent leaders who are making change for kids' health!
by Lanette Garcia
How did you get involved with Parents United for Healthy Schools?
I became involved with the Healthy Schools Campaign because I went to a workshop and from then on, I became aware of this problem. It grabbed my attention because it was about health and also because I know that obesity is much discussed on television and radio these days.
Why are healthy practices and nutrition education important?
Many of us don’t have a healthy diet. We are used to eating fewer vegetables and fruits. But I’ve realized that it’s important because if we do not provide our children with healthy food, they are at a loss.
What is one thing you have personally changed in your lifestyle?
We changed many things. My family was the type to eat out unhealthy foods a lot. And now I realize the importance of eating healthy and exercising -- because we were also people who did not do much exercise. We spent more time working, running from one place to another, and so we left it aside. It is important, both eating healthy and exercise, if we want a good future.
Since putting healthy practices and lessons in place at home, what changes have you seen in your home? In your school community?
I have seen the difference at home. I have a son who was obese as a child, and the doctor said, “Ma’am, if you do not take care of him, he can develop diabetes and other illnesses.” And with Parents United for Healthy Schools, I became more motivated, because I became informed. I have been going to work out, and I have taken him to many programs. This has reinforced for me to continue eating healthy and to exercise. For our school, I promised to pass the word to other parents: it is important to exercise, eat healthy, if we want our children to live longer.
What do parents contribute to healthy school environments?
Parents create an important basis.It is like when we send children to school -- we let teachers teach but we, as parents, also have to start from home. Teach them good manners and also teach them to eat healthy.It is not only about eating pizza and junk food. No. You have to exercise. We also have to start teaching them to cook healthy, involve them and motivate them to exercise, which is very important.
Thanks to Claudia for sharing this insight! Stay posted for more spotlights on parent leaders and updates on Parents United for Healthy Schools.