Sonia Chung stood at the front of a third-grade classroom at La Cañada Elementary School Wednesday and held up several commonly consumed beverages, including soda, apple juice and chocolate milk.
“It is easy to just suck these down,” she said, brandishing a Capri Sun juice packet.
What the drinks have in common are large amounts of sugar, said Chung, a parent volunteer who teachers healthy cooking classes at the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA and the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge.
The presentation, which steered from sugars and fats to protein and exercise, was one of many during the course of La Cañada Elementary School’s Nutrition Week, designed to educate children about the benefits of maintaining a healthy diet.
Launched last year by parent volunteers who work in the health and nutrition fields, the week-long effort could help to establish life-long habits, organizers said.
Studies have shown that children with healthy diets are less likely to miss school and perform better academically, said Wendy Crump, a parent volunteer and a Registered Dietitian. Good nutrition also can decrease the risks for major medical conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.