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There is So Much to Know About H2O
Water makes up about 60% of our body. We need water for brain functions and increased energy. Water helps with digestion and regulating bowel movements. Did you know that those who are pregnant, or breastfeeding need more water? It is recommended that the average adult consume eight, 8-oz glasses of water per day. During pregnancy and lactation, the recommendation increases to eight to ten glasses of water daily. Water helps to form the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby and helps to transport essential nutrients throughout the body and remove harmful waste products.
To increase water intake:
- Try carrying a refillable water bottle to drink with and in-between meals
- Listen to your body, activity levels and hot weather increase fluid needs
- Try adding flavor enhancers such lemon slices, fresh fruit, or cucumber
- Eat foods with high water contents like strawberries, watermelon, celery, and cooked squash
The Importance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in children, but did you know 15-30 minutes in the sun will meet a child's vitamin D needs? With summer soon approaching, the sun will be shining and the children will be playing, which is a great way to absorb vitamin D.
However, be sure to always apply sun protection before exposure. There are also food options that are high in vitamin D such as salmon, tuna, and egg yolks. However, most children are not fond of these foods so it is commonly recommended to supplement vitamin D.
Many foods are also fortified with vitamin D such as various brands of milk, yogurt, orange juice, bread, pasta, and cereal. Vitamin D is important to help your child develop strong bones, strengthen their immune system, and can even improve their mood.
The Importance of Eating as a Family
We know how busy life can be but eating together as a family can have long lasting benefits. Did you know that research suggests that having dinner together as a family at least four times a week has positive effects on child development. Family dinners have been linked to a lower risk of obesity, substance abuse, eating disorders, and an increased chance of graduating from high school. When a family sits down together, it helps them handle the stresses of daily life.It doesn't matter which meals you spend together, so do what best fits your schedule and family.
Eating for a Healthy Heart
Eating a variety of colorful vegetables and fruit promotes a healthier heart. Including them in meals makes them more familiar to children and as a result, children may be more likely to eat them as they grow up. Examples include cabbage, blueberries, zucchini, lemons, and tomatoes. #okwic
Breastfeeding is for you!
Deciding whether or not to breastfeed is a very personal decision. It is based on lifestyle, desire, and health of the mother and baby. Breast milk is the perfect food, it contains just the right amount of nutrients for your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that children who are breastfed have improved dental health and have decreased risk of type 1 and 2 diabetes, childhood overweight and obesity, and asthma. The AAP also reports maternal health benefits to breastfeeding such as decreased risk for type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and breast, ovarian, endometrial and thyroid cancers. Moreover, breastfeeding can also enhance the bond between mother and baby. Need help with breastfeeding support? Contact your local WIC clinic today! #okwic
Children's consumption of fruit and vegetables
There can be many challenges to having children consume more fruits and vegetables. However, there are a few ways to help remedy this. We can help by implementing policies in schools to have fruits and vegetables put in front of other less nutritious food in the cafeteria. We can also help by changing the presentation of these foods to have them look attractive and tasty to the kids. By implementing either of these strategies, we can help children to eat a more nutritious diet!
Happy 1st Birthday!
Happy first birthday! Your baby is now one. What does this mean for nutrition and WIC? Breastfeeding may continue as long as is desired. A 1-year-old can eat most table foods. No more bottles or baby food! Encourage self-feeding with child-size spoons and forks. Mealtimes may be messy, so be patient while your child is practicing. Introduce cow’s milk from a cup, two cups (16-24oz) per day is recommended.
The following yummy foods are available from WIC’s Child Standard Food Package (<24 months): 1 dozen eggs, 36oz breakfast cereal, 1 container peanut butter or canned beans, 32oz whole grains, $24 cash value benefit, 4 gallons of whole milk, and 2 containers (64oz) 100% juice. #okwic
Join the Mindful Plate Club
While a lot of us were proud members of the Clean Plate Club when we were kids, it’s time to hang up that member’s jacket (and maybe even donate it!). You’ve likely noticed your toddler’s uncanny ability to eat just one bite of a chicken nugget or a delicious chocolate chip cookie. While it can be frustrating to prepare dinner only to have a quarter of it eaten, this is actually a great thing! It means your kiddo still has the ability to notice and honor their hunger.
Instead of inducting your little one as a brand new member of the Clean Plate Club, maybe it’s time to let them join the Mindful Plate Club. Instead of making our children finish their meals and snacks, we can let them stop when they’re full.
The Power of Produce!
Try these tips to get your kids excited about fruits and veggies!
Let Your Child Explore:
- Provide your child with cookbooks or cooking magazines and have them look for recipes to try.
- Encourage children to name fruits and vegetables at the grocery store.
- Take advantage of food samples when you’re at the store to taste-test new foods.
Let Children Choose:
Let them choose a new vegetable or fruit to take home and try. Have them bag up the produce or weigh it and calculate the cost.
Try Growing Your Own Produce:
Growing your own foods from seeds in your garden can be a rewarding experience. Perhaps start the seeds in paper cups on your windowsill.
Your Child Can Help At Home Too!
Kids are more likely to try a food that they have a hand in choosing and preparing. Let them participate in various meal preparation tasks.
Although potatoes often get a bad rap for being “unhealthy,” they are actually a great starchy vegetable! Potatoes by themselves are free of fat and cholesterol and are a great source of fiber and antioxidants. They are affordable, cook quick and easy in the microwave, and can be combined with a variety of other ingredients and toppings to make a tasty and balanced meal.
Some great and nutritious toppings you can pair with your baked potato include Greek yogurt, frozen vegetables, and cheese! Make a meal with potatoes a bit more fun for the family by setting up a baked potato bar with all of your favorite toppings!
Making Food Fun!
Add fruits and veggies for color and nutrients.
The Importance of Staying Hydrated During Pregnancy
Drinking water during pregnancy is very important! First, it helps you to not become dehydrated. Drinking water also aids in digestion, which prevents constipation and hemorrhoids. Your body needs water in order to remove waste from your body, produce extra blood volume, build new tissue, form the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby, fight fatigue, and prevent overheating. Water can also be beneficial to your body by helping absorb vitamins and nutrients that ultimately reach the placenta & baby!
The recommended amount of water (or other fluid) you should be drinking daily is 8-12 8 oz. glasses or 65-98 oz.
Tips to increase water consumption: Try drinking water throughout the day not just when you are thirsty, try tracking your water consumption throughout the day (you can find fun water bottle to help with that), or add your favorite fruit into your water to give it more flavor!
Is it possible to overfeed my baby?
Hey, new mama birds! We understand that you may be worried about overfeeding. Luckily, breastfed babies tend to naturally take in the right amount for their size and weight. To help you prevent overfeeding, try looking for signs of fullness like naturally releasing or turning away from the nipple. Bottle-fed babies may show signs of fullness when falling asleep or releasing the bottle, and shouldn’t be woken up or encouraged to finish. Got more questions? WIC is here to help!
Encourage Toddlers to try new foods!
Feeling frustrated a mealtime? Does your child refuse to eat certain foods? It is common for children to have aversions to certain foods. Here are some tips to help parents combat those picky eating behaviors!
- Introduce new foods to them. Research shows that it may take introducing the child to the food at least 10 times before they are ready to try it! Try putting a small amount of the food on the child’s plate. Talk about the food with them. Describe how it smells, feels, and tastes.
- Involve the child in meal-planning and preparation. Give them age-appropriate tasks like washing vegetables or setting the table. You can also present them with a few healthy snack options and then let them choose which one they want to try.
- Have patience, and don’t force the child to eat the food. This can lead to feelings of irritability or anxiety during mealtimes.
Introducing New Foods
When introducing a new food to your toddler, remember not to force it, they may not like it at first! Try introducing the new food to them multiple times, waiting a couple of days between each attempt. It can take over 10 times of repeated exposure to a new food before a toddler might like it!
Managing Mealtime Struggles
Children are naturally choosy when it comes to eating. They are very skeptical when trying new foods. Did you know that offering a child new and disliked foods 10 or more times can actually improve the toddler’s taste buds leading them to accept the new introduced food? Scheduling meals and limiting snacks can also help ensure your child wants to eat when being introduced to a new food. Help your child to also explore new flavors and textures by cooking with a variety of spices and herbs in simple meals to make them tastier. If you want 8 more helpful tips, find us at: oklahoma.gov and search for WIC.
Breast milk will help protect your baby against illnesses and diseases by building the baby’s immune system. Breast milk provides the perfect infant nutrition with the right amount of vitamins and minerals. Breastfeeding will even help your body get back in shape after pregnancy. Lastly, breast milk is free!
Questions about breastfeeding? Call your local WIC clinic and ask to speak to one of the WIC breastfeeding experts. #okwic
WIC Supports Families
We are raising the future and while it may come with some difficulties, answers are never far away. Caring support when you need it most is just a call, text, email, or short drive away. At WIC we impact more than 6 million people every year. Providing nutrition education, nutritious foods, referrals to health and human services, and breastfeeding support. We also provide resources for fathers and grandmothers. Giving you the support you need now, to build a smarter, happier, and healthier future for tomorrow.
Get Your Preschooler to Eat More
- Preschool is when children begin strong food preferences.
- Include a variety for your child to try all food groups.
- Avoid making a separate meal for your child.
- Remember, it may take a few attempts for your child to like a food so don't give up!
Lettuce, Know Which is your Favorite
Which type of lettuce is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!
Adding a salad to your meal is a great way to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. #MyPlate #Healthyfood #Veggies
Nutrition Tips for Breastfeeding Mothers
Tips to consider:
- Increase calories by 300-400 kcal per day.
- focus on making healthy choices.
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Opt for protein rich foods
- Make at least half your grains whole grains.
- Move to low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, or cheese.
- Avoid drinking all alcohol and limit caffeine to 2-3 cups(16-20 ounces daily).
- Expose your baby to different tastes by eating a variety of flavors. This might help him or her more easily accept solid foods down the road.
Sometimes a baby may become fussy to a food you are eating; watch for signs and symptoms such as rashes, coughing, prolonged crying, diarrhea, vomiting, and discomfort.
Eat the Plant Rainbow
Did you know that even the tiny chemicals that color our fruits and vegetables have health benefits? These plant pigments that color all the plants we see are types of phytochemicals. Eating a combination of differently colored fruits and vegetables can prevent chronic disease and improve heart health. Try adding at least 3 different colors to your plate at each meal! How can you add the plant rainbow to your plate? #okwic
Press Play on Health
Looking for ways to improve your health? Add some fruits and vegetables to your food playlist!
Fresh, frozen, or even canned produce are good sources of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants which can protect you from inflammation and chronic diseases!
Add some produce in the form of smoothies, egg scrambles, burritos, soups, and stir-fries!
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Are you pregnant and wondering if you should breastfeed your baby?
There are many benefits to breastfeeding, including giving your baby a healthy start to life and decreasing your baby's risk of certain infections and diseases. Breast milk is easily digested, and colostrum helps improve baby's digestive system. Breastfeeding no only improves baby's health, but also reduces mom's risk of high blood pressure, certain breast and ovarian cancers, and type 2 diabetes and helps mom recover quicker after childbirth.
Breastfeeding also promotes feelings of safety, warmth, and security between mom and baby through skin-to-skin contact. Lastly, breast milk is the best way to encourage growth and development your baby needs. Breast milk changes as the baby ages to meet their needs. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to help your baby grow healthy and strong.