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Woodlake parents discuss healthy options for kids

Woodlake parents discuss healthy options for kids

Woodlake parents will be holding an informational meeting tonight, Oct. 23 to discuss how to improve health and wellness in their community.

The event will be held by a grass roots organization supported by the Dolores Huerta Foundation. Irlanda Ramirez, an organizer for the Dolores Huerta Foundation, said the meeting will focus on two health issues facing families in Woodlake – sugary drinks and safe routes to school. Ramirez said sugary drinks and lack of exercise are two of the main reasons for the childhood obesity epidemic in Tulare County and across the country. And while a recent study has shown the consumption of sugary drinks is in decline (see story in next week’s paper) children still drink soda, juice, punch and sweetened milk products in far greater quantities than they should.

“We want parents to be aware of the sugar in syrups to make chocolate and strawberry milk and that many juices have a lot of sugar inside them,” Ramirez said. “This is to inform the parents about healthy beverage choices.”

The meeting will also discuss safe routes to school. But instead of focusing on having the City improve sidewalks, Ramirez said the meeting will discuss ways to get kids and parents active, such as walking or riding bicycles to school. The Obesity Prevention Council of the Central Valley will give a presentation on the importance of giving children at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

“It is important for parents to be active to serve as an example to their children,” she said.

Dolores Huerta Foundation has been supporting community activism in Woodlake since 2007. That was the first time a group called United Neighbors Coalition approached the City Council about improving sidewalks along Woodlake’s main street Valencia Blvd. Much of the downtown area will get new curb, gutters and sidewalks once the City begins work on its Valencia Blvd. improvement project.

“We will follow up this informational meeting with a second meeting where we will invite the City Council and School Board to discuss ways to improve health in the community,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez said the meeting is open to the public and will be in both English and Spanish. For more information, visit www.doloreshuerta.org or call Irlanda Ramirez at 559-553-5713.

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