, Muskogee, OK

December 5, 2012

Moms, dads get parenting tips

By Cathy Spaulding
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Parents can learn about healthy meals and helpful teaching tips tonight at Parent University.

The program begins at 6 p.m. at Muskogee’s Early Childhood Center, 901 Emporia St.

“Parent University is open to the public and we’ve been going to day care centers and child care providers so we can engage the community,” Early Childhood Center Principal Malinda Lindsey said, adding that all parents are welcome, even if they have no children at Muskogee Public Schools.

The program will feature tips on how parents can use everyday activities to teach their children, Lindsey said.

For example, “Kids can learn counting and patterns by sorting with Froot Loops cereal,” Lindsey said. “Or they can count and sort with socks and help with the laundry.

Representatives of the Muskogee County Health Department will give tips about nutrition and dealing with children with problems, she said.

“The Health Department said they will make a dish that night,” Lindsey said.

Muskogee County Health Department health educator Martha Alford said one focus will be choosing the right beverages for children.

“We’ll have a demonstration on how companies try to convince people to buy more sugary drinks,” Alford said.

She said parents should stress more nutritious alternatives such as water as the beverage of choice.

Drinks that are 100 percent juice should be consumed in moderation, about eight ounces a day, Alford said.

“Calories should come from food, not from sugary beverages,” Alford said.

Parent University is a joint effort of Muskogee Public Schools Child Nutrition Services, Smart Start, Muskogee County Health Department, Muskogee Public Library and the Cherokee Nation, Lindsey said.

ECC students will perform.

The program also features a LEGO building contest.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or

If you go

WHAT: Parent University.

WHEN: 6 p.m. today.

WHERE: Early Childhood Center, 901 Emporia St.