Posts Tagged ‘Healthy’

Make healthy babies a priority!

In 2010, 1,600 low-income women lost access to prenatal care through Medicaid, leaving them without the critical
care that would help their baby be born as healthy as possible. With your help, we can restore this coverage through LB 599.

Help make healthy babies a priority this session
There are two opportunities to make your voice heard:

Press Conference

When: Tuesday, February 7, 2012
12:00 pm (Gather at 11:45am)
Where: Rotunda, Nebraska Capitol

Following the press conference, we will stop by legislators’ offices to urge them to prioritize healthy babies.


When: Saturday, February 11, 2012
1:00 pm
Where: Christ United Methodist Church
Fellowship Hall, 45th and A Street, Lincoln

Can’t make it? Call your State Senator. Tell them to support LB 599 and make healthy babies a priority this session.

Share with your friends and families. Nebraska’s babies need all of our voices!

Prenatal Press Conference & Vigil – Printable Flier

The following groups support LB 599 and urge a vote on the bill this year:

Alegent Health

Building Bright Futures

Center for People in Need

Center for Rural Affairs

Health Center Association of Nebraska

Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska

League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha

League of Women Voters of Nebraska

March of Dimes

Nebraska Appleseed

National Association of Social Workers – Nebraska Chapter

Nebraska Catholic Conference

Nebraska Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

Nebraska Child Healthcare Alliance

Nebraska Head Start Association

Nebraska Hospital Association

Nebraska Medical Association

Nebraska Right to Life

Omaha Together One Community

One World Community Health Center

Risk-Taking Mission & Justice Ministries of the Nebraska Conference – United Methodist Church

Voices for Children in Nebraska

Babies Born Healthy — An International Perspective

Recently, I came across an online article entitled, “New Ads Push Prenatal Care”.  I clicked on it to learn more, and found myself somewhat surprised to be reading  the article in the Phnom Phen Post, the English language newspaper in Cambodia.

I went to Cambodia on a couple of occasions back in 2004 and 2005.   Decades after the formal departure of a cruel and inhumane government, Cambodians were still suffering from the ills of poverty and lack of medical treatment.  Crossing the border from Thailand, I remember being met not only by extreme poverty but also by the lingering horrors of the cruelty of the former regime like burn victims and people with missing limbs.   It was truly heart-wrenching.

The article talks about Cambodia’s efforts to reduce its staggering infant mortality rates through prenatal care.  I haven’t been back to Cambodia since then, but the article makes me hopeful that Cambodia is starting to look toward its future by investing in its very youngest residents. 

The article also reminded me of a chart that our resident data queen here at Voices for Children, Melissa Breazile, put together last year.   The chart compared infant mortality rates in Nebraska and the United States to other advanced economies.

As you can see, with both Nebraska and United States at the bottom of the chart, we have room for improvement.  The  infant mortality rate is not nearly as alarming as in a place like Cambodia, but we rank relatively low compared to our peers.  We can and should do better.  If Cambodia — with all they have overcome as a nation — can make healthy babies a priority, surely we can too. 

A little over a month from now, our state legislature will return to session, and have the opportunity to do just that .   We can make healthy babies a priority by restoring access to prenatal care coverage for all low-income Nebraska mothers through Medicaid.  We know that it’s the right thing to do, and we are hopeful that our fellow Nebraskans and state senators do too.

A FewTips About Healthy Eating For Children

In this article we are going to discuss about healthy eating for children.In general,a healthy diet is important for everyone — especially for our kids. As your kid grows older as well as begins attaining more self-reliance, it will become really difficult for you to help them learn about healthy eating habits. For this reason it is so vital that you begin instructing your child about healthy eating habits in a young age. Through teaching your kids about eating healthy, you are able to guide all of them on a healthy pathway in order to adulthood. Below are great tips to help you train your children regarding healthy consuming.

When it comes to teaching about healthy eating for children, you will need to give them choices rather than determined foods. Obviously, you will need to manually teach them to help to make proper options by keeping a number of healthy foods in the home, but allowing your child select which food they wish to eat can help them learn to make healthy  choices on their very own.

Also, try eating meals like a family as frequently as possible. Keep in mind – you’re your child’s main” role model” so it is essential that you lead the way in which in healthy eating habits. If you’re eating junky meals, they will wish to eat junky meals too. Therefore, be sure to arrange the instance for your kid at the dining room table, making appropriate food choices for each like your son or daughter, you, and also the rest of your loved ones.

Another great concept to help your son or daughter learn about healthy/wholesome eating habits would be to involve all of them in trips to market and the planning of meals. This will provide your child the chance to explore the field of food as well as learn that foods tend to be healthy as well as which ones ought to stay on the actual shelf! It will likewise give your son or daughter a feeling of achievement, making them much more willing to attempt new meals.

If you want your son or daughter to grow strong and healthy, a whole meals diet is the easiest method to go. Supplying your child having a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, nut products, seeds, as well as whole grains, will give you and them with all the nutrients, mineral deposits, and nutritional vitamins that their body requires to grow strong and healthy. The best part about whole foods for example fruits, veggies, and whole grain products, are lower in calories, carbs, and fat so your kid can consume large servings without stressing about putting on weight or harmful side effects.

Lastly, when instructing your children regarding eating healthy, keep in mind that your child continues to be a child! As you want to motivate healthy eating and snack, an occasional calorie filled treat will not damage your child.Hope that you got an idea about healthy eating for children and the ways to make them pick and eat healthy food on their own.

Baby Nutrition Care Tips With Ideas…

Demand, Environment, Healthy Eating Key Issues in Producing Food

Major issues in agriculture are promoting good nutrition while reversing obesity as food production strives for safety and a reduced environmental impact.

Suite101 Articles

Gene Diet: Feeding Your Genes to Keep Yourself Healthy

Researchers have discovered that certain foods cause genes responsible for certain diseases to become agitated while other foods keep your genes healthy.

Suite101 Articles

Planting Seeds for Healthy Families

Our sixth annual Health Fair was a wonderful success! HPP hosted over 300 attendees, offering community families the opportunity to learn about HPP services and the 22 partner agencies that also participated. Attendees enjoyed free massages, acupuncture, and health and dental screenings, as well as face painting, family portraits and healthy snacks. And lets not forget a visit from Elmo! This was a great celebration of health and we are already looking forward to next year.

Thank you to our participating agencies and volunteers:

And a special thanks to our sponsors!

Homeless Prenatal Program

Top 10 Healthy Pregnancy Snacks

Are you trying to follow a nutritious diet plan? Snacks are a great way to get started. You can have servings of fruits, vegetables, and calcium rich foods. Melinda Johnson a registered dietitian and national spokesperson for the American Dietic Association, states that munching on small portions of healthy foods throughout the day can reduce the hunger. It removes fatigue and provides your baby with all the nutrients. Here are some of the healthy pregnancy snacks needed for you to make your snack break delicious and satisfying.

Top 10 Healthy Pregnancy Snacks
Foods that are convenient tastes good but the unfortunate thing is that it is full of preservatives and other ingredients. There are a number of easy and quick foods that are good for your health and the baby as well. During pregnancy, what you need is a light meal or a snack to keep you full till your next full meal. Here are some of the top 10 healthy pregnancy snacks:

  • Fruit Servings: Eat an apple, orange, banana or any other favorite fruit. You can use the little 4-ounce fruit cups that can be counted as one serving. This meets your daily recommended quota of fruits during pregnancy. Choose natural juices than the ones with added preservatives and sugary syrups.
  • Raisins: A small box that is one and half box provides a little boost of iron, fiber and potassium and it satisfies your sweet tooth as well.
  • Yogurt: One container with 6 ounces of this convenient and nutritious food provides nearly 25% of the daily requirement of calcium and protein as well. It is also packed with vitamins and minerals. If the label on the container says “active and live cultures,” then you get the benefits of probiotics as well. These help in proper digestion and even protects the entire digestive tract.
  • Trial Mix: Add one cup of whole grain cereals to a handful of your favorite dried nuts and fruits. You can even add almonds, cranberries, walnuts and cherries. You can keep them in a resealable bag in your car or desk for a crunchy snack.
  • Salad Bar: Some of the restaurants, fast-food centres and other stores have something called salad bars, where you can serve yourself a whole days worth vegetables and fruits. Load yourself with carrots, celery, spinach, zucchini, tomatoes and cucumbers. You can even add kidney beans, nuts and chickpeas for getting loads of protein. Top up with raisins for fiber, potassium and iron.
  • Baby Carrots: Carrots are rich in fiber and vitamin A and you can get them in single-serving bags. You can dip them in yogurt or hummus to get that extra dose of nutrition. You can just dab salad dressing for flavor. You can even add other veggies like cauliflower, spinach and broccoli.
  • String Cheese: Most of them are not aware of this string cheese but this would surely become your favorite snack. These low-fat mozzarella sticks are packed with calcium. One stick of mozzarella stick provides the same levels of proteins that you might get in an eight ounce glass of milk.
  • Orange Juice with Vitamin D and Calcium: Half cup of orange juice provides you with the daily requirement of Vitamin C and around 15% of the calcium. You can keep a bottle of juice and drink it where ever you go, but check the labels on the juice bottle for maximum fortification.
  • Whole Grain Cereal or Instant Oatmeal: You can keep this in single-serving packages at your work place in the desk for a filling and a quick snack. Now-a-days, most of the breakfast cereals are fortified with the required minerals and vitamins, which even includes folic acid.
  • Fat-free or Low-fat Cottage Cheese: Low fat cottage cheese is an excellent source of proteins and has some amounts of calcium as well. You can search for single-serving containers in the grocery stores. You can top it with fruits or even a handful of dried fruits and nuts to make it more tastier and pleasing to your taste buds.

These were some of the top 10 healthy pregnancy snacks that are packed with all the vitamins and minerals needed for you and the baby throughout the pregnancy. But there are certain foods that you need to avoid as they can be harmful for you and the baby as well. So, read on to know some of the foods that you need to avoid strictly.

Foods to Avoid
Here are some of the foods that you need to avoid:

  • Packaged ramen noodles: You need to read the label because these fast cooking noodles are packed with fat and salt, which are unhealthy, especially during pregnancy.
  • Soda: Do not fill your stomach with empty calories and sugary drinks as you would not have space for other nutritious drinks. Low-fat milk, juices and water are the better choices.
  • Commercial Lunch: Commercial lunch bags are nothing, but the fast foods that are regarded as as a quick fix for the hunger pangs. These have nothing other than fats and salts that make them a poor choice for snacking. There are many other healthier options and all you need to do is to grab all the required nutrition. Do not go for the unhealthier foods, which can cause various health problems.
  • Frozen Prepared Meals: There are some frozen foods that have large amount of fats and salts. So, check for the labels and the ingredients. You can boil a potato and top it with steamed broccoli and cheese for a healthy and fast meals. If you cannot avoid these frozen foods then go for organic frozen foods that are low in salt and fats. So, all you need to do is check the labels whenever you buy something.
  • Iceberg Lettuce: Opt for greens like the romaine that are high in fiber, Vitamins A, C and in minerals like calcium, potassium and folic acid. Iceberg lettuce has very minute amounts of these nutrients and this is the reason why romaine is preferred.

Other Snack Tips
Here are some of the tips for healthy pregnancy snacks:

  • Do not buy the junk food.
  • Think small because all you need to do is go for a small handful of chocolate chips.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.

These were some of the tips for healthy pregnancy snacks. I hope that these tips would come in handy for all you pregnant women.


Healthy Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Eating a healthy food and balanced diet is a sign that your baby is getting all the required nutrients that he/she needs. This also helps in a healthy weight gain during pregnancy. You might have been told by your parents that it is necessary to eat for two. You need extra calories from foods to attain a normal weight gain every trimester.

You may have to consume 100 – 300 more calories than before you became pregnant. This helps in meeting the needs of your growing fetus. If you have any doubts regarding the healthy weight gain during pregnancy then ask your health care provider. Here are some of the body types and the required amount of healthy weight gain during pregnancy:

  • A woman who is of average weight must attain 25 to 30 pounds during pregnancy.
  • Women who are underweight must gain 28 – 40 pounds during pregnancy.
  • Women who are overweight may have to gain only 15 to 25 pounds during the entire phase of pregnancy.

When you go for antenatal check-ups, your health care provider may recommend the normal weight gain according to your weight. Generally, one should gain two to four pounds in the first trimester. In the remaining trimesters, you need to gain 1 pound each. You must gain 35 – 45 pounds if you are expecting twins. This would come to an average of 1 ½ pounds every week, which is another sign of healthy weight gain during pregnancy.

Where Does the Extra Weight Go During Pregnancy?
Here is how the extra weight gain distributed in pregnancy:

  • Uterus increase – 2 to 5 pounds
  • Fat stores for breastfeeding and delivery – 5 to 9 pounds
  • Blood supply – 4 pounds
  • Breast tissue – 2 to 3 pounds
  • Amniotic fluid – 2 to 3 pounds
  • Placenta – 2 to 3 pounds
  • Baby – 8 pounds
  • Total – 25 to 25 pounds

Is is Safe to Lose Weight During Pregnancy?
If a woman is overweight then it is safe to lose her weight during pregnancy. However, this weight loss must be done under strict supervision of a health care provider. If it is not needed then you must try not to lose weight.

How to Gain the Right Amount of Weight in Pregnancy?
Here are some of the suggestions if your health care provider recommends you to gain more weight during pregnancy:

  • Eat five to six of frequent and small meals everyday.
  • Keep easy and quick snacks on hand like raisins, nuts, crackers, dried fruit, cheese, ice cream and yogurt.
  • You can even spread peanut butter on apples, celery, crackers, toast or bananas. One teaspoon of creamy peanut butter provides around 100 calories and 7 grams of proteins.
  • Add condiments to meals like margarine or butter,sour cream, gravy, cream cheese.
  • You can also add non-fat powdered milk to foods like scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes and hot cereals.

What If you Gain More Weight During Pregnancy?
If you gain more weight than the recommended during the pregnancy then talk to your health care provider. This is only when you gain oodles of weight in the initial months of pregnancy. In most of the cases, it is not proper to lose weight intentionally especially, during pregnancy. Remember to eat different foods to get all the required nutrients for you and the growing fetus as well. Here are some simple tips by the American Pregnancy Association:

  • When you are planning to eat at a fast food restaurant then choose foods that have less fat like the breast sandwich, broiled chicken with lettuce and tomato without mayonnaise or sauce, side salad with low fat dressings, plain baked potato or plain bagels. Avoid the intake of fried foods like mozzarella sticks, french fries and breaded chicken patties.
  • Avoid using whole milk products and remember to take four servings of milk products in a day. However, using skimmed milk that will reduce the intake of calorie levels and fats that you eat and drink. Choose fat free cheese or low fat yogurt or cheese.
  • Limit or reduce the intake of sugary or sweet drinks. Sweetened drinks like fruit drinks, fruit punch, lemonade, iced tea or powdered drinks, which provide calories with very minute amounts of nutrients. Choose mineral water, club soda or normal water to avoid those extra calories that again leads to weight gain.
  • Limit or stop the use salt in foods while cooking as salt causes retention of water in the body.
  • Limit high calories snacks like candies, syrup, potato chips, cookies, donuts, cake and honey as these increase the caloric intake with no or very little nutrition. Try not to eat these foods every day.
  • You can take low-fat yogurt, angel food cake with strawberries, fresh fruits or pretzels as low calories dessert or snacks.
  • The intake of fats must be in moderation and one thing you can do is include margarine, oils, gravy, butter, mayonnaise, sour cream, regular salad dressing, and cream cheese. Try these low fat substitutes that are found in these foods.
  • Preparation of meals must be done by using cooking methods that use low-fat like baking, boiling, broiling or grilling is a much better option when compared to fried foods in butter or oil as they increase the fat content and the calories as well.
  • Exercise plays a major role and you can start exercising once you talk to your health care provider. Walking or swimming is considered safe and are the most effective exercises for a pregnant woman. Talk to your health care provider before starting any exercise program.

Therefore, follow these simple and effective tips to have a healthy weight gain during pregnancy. All you can do is talk eat healthy, talk to your doctor to avoid excessive weight gain or avoid being underweight. These help you to have a healthy and a happy pregnancy


Tips for a Healthy Pre-Pregnancy Diet

Now that you are still trying to conceive, it is high time that you change your eating habits and make certain life style changes. Here is how you should get started with the pre pregnancy diet. Here are some of the tips to improve your diet and safeguard your baby-to-be’s health. You may have to make tough choices and seriously start thinking about the pre pregnancy diet. Read on to explore the healthier eating patterns.

Dietary Changes When Trying to Conceive
Here are some of the important changes that you need to do before getting pregnant or when planning to conceive:

Junk the Junk Food

  • Reduce the intake of refined white flours and sugars like doughnuts, cookie, candy and cakes.
  • Do not go for the saturated fatty acids like the fried and grilled foods.
  • A high intake of such fats can increase the risk of every pregnancy morning sickness.
  • So, all you need to do is say a big “NO” to all the junk foods.

Consume Folic Acid

  • This vitamin should be started at the earliest as it lowers the chance of your baby to be developing neural tube defects.
  • Most of the green leafy vegetables and the whole grains are rich in this vitamin.
  • So, consume lots of green leafy vegetables like spinach and you can consult your health care provider for a good folic acid supplement.

Relish the Right Foods

  • Increase all the stuffs that you and the baby to be needs like the delicious salads like carrots, papaya, mango.
  • Eat more of whole grains like brown rice, whole- wheat bread and oatmeal
  • You can also consume dairy products that has low fat content in them.

Never Skip Meals

  • Never be in a hurry even if you miss up the train, eat and then only leave.
  • Breakfast especially,should never be skipped as it lowers your energy levels.
  • Since, you are even planning to have a baby, it is important for your health and the baby to be as well.
  • You are depriving your body of the required nutrients by skipping meals.
  • So, stop being a meal skipper.

Take a Look at your Dietary Patterns

  • You need to observe your eating pattern or the dietary habits.
  • If you have eating disorders like anorexia bulimia or nervosa then you may need help from the doctor for further treatment.
  • You must discuss them with your doctor and take the required treatment.
  • You can even take the help of dietitian or the support groups to get back the normal nutritional status before conceiving.

Decaffeinate your Diet

  • If you are trying to get pregnant then one thing that you need to stop completely is caffeinated drinks.
  • You must stop the consuming caffeine before, during and after pregnancy as well.
  • Caffeinated drinks can risk the occurrence of miscarriage.
  • Caffeine is also related to infertility.
  • You can cut down caffeine slowly as it might be difficult to stop it suddenly.
  • You can later opt for the decaffeinated coffee for a few days for the weaning process.
  • After taking decaf coffee, now is the time to slowly stop the intake of coffee.
  • Eat smaller and frequent meals to keep up the energy levels and to keep the blood sugar levels normal.
  • You can also consult your doctor and start taking prenatal vitamins.
  • These things can help you maintain your normal stamina even without caffeine.

Bone up on Calcium
Calcium is a mineral that is good for you and the baby to be as well.It is very much important to get the required dose calcium as it helps in the proper development of the baby to be’s bone and teeth.
Here are some of the calcium rich foods, which you have to eat for at least 3 servings every day:

  • Sesame seeds
  • Low fat milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Orange juice with added calcium
  • Dried figs
  • Soy milk
  • Tofu
  • Almonds
  • Cooked dried beans
  • Mustard or turnip greens
  • Corn tortillas

Eating Fish

  • There are many dos and dont’s for the consumption of fishes if you are planning to conceive.
  • The Food and Drug Administration, have stated that women who are trying to get pregnant must not eat more than twelve ounces of fishes.
  • You must not eat fishes that have mercury content in them and avoid shell fishes as well.
  • So, eat fishes with caution and if you are eating the tinned or canned fish, do read the label carefully to prevent infections caused by these fishes.

These are some of the simple ways of eating healthy especially, when you are trying to conceive. Getting yourself ready for the baby making is an excellent way to prepare yourself for the long journey of motherhood.


URGENT ACTION: Tell Legislators we want babies born healthy

Thanks to all of you who during last year’s legislative session used your voice to speak up on behalf of Nebraska babies.  Despite our best efforts, 1,619 mothers lost access to prenatal care through Medicaid.  Anecdotal evidence from Community Health Centers suggests that this change has resulted in a  higher incidence of stillbirths and women delivering in clinics instead of hospitals.

Your voice is needed once again!  There are only two days left to introduce a bill to restore prenatal care for all unborn babies.  Please take a moment to call (402) 471-2731 or email Senator Kathy Campbell’s office to thank her for her leadership on this issue and tell her you support legislation to restore prenatal care for all low-income women and their unborn children.  If you are a resident of Senator Campbell’s district,  be sure to let her know that when you call.

We want our legislature to know that these babies have not been forgotten, and that there are many Nebraskans who will continue to speak up on their behalf.  Contact Senator Campbell’s office TODAY and tell her you support further efforts to make sure all Nebraska babies are born healthy.