Healthy Families Beyond WIC

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Continue to Make Healthy Choices

While on the WIC program, you and your WIC health professionals identified some health and nutrition needs for you and your children. You received nutrition education, counseling, supplemental foods, and referrals to improve your family’s health. Continue using the information from WIC to make healthy choices for you and your children!

Healthy Eating

Eat a diet filled with a variety of foods to get the nutrients you need! Eat a balance of foods based on MyPlate including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, low fat milk/dairy products, and protein like eggs, fish, meat, poultry, tofu, and beans.

Here are some helpful hints to healthy eating…

  • Eating 5 or more servings of fruits & vegetables each day:
    • can help you maintain a healthy weight,
    • may decrease your risk of certain cancers, and
    • may reduce your risk of chronic diseases, like diabetes and heart disease.
  • Iron-rich foods for energy and strong blood include:
    • Lean red meats
    • WIC cereals
    • Enriched breads and grains
    • Dried beans and peas
    • Fish
    • Poultry
    • Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach
    • Dried fruit
  • Calcium-rich foods for strong bones, teeth and other health benefits include:
    • Milk and milk products such as yogurt and cheese
    • Soy and lactose-free milk
    • Canned salmon or sardines canned with bones
    • Mackerel
    • Tofu
    • Broccoli
    • Dark-greens leafy vegetables like spinach
  • Having enough folic acid in your body before becoming pregnant can reduce risk of having a baby with spina bifida or neural tube defects. Take a folic acid supplement of 400 mcg and eat folate rich foods every day including:
    • Fortified WIC cereals
    • Dried beans and peas
    • Dark green leafy vegetables
    • Orange juice
    • Fortified grain products
  • Make half your grains whole. Whole grains help with control of weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure and prevention of cardiovascular disease, stroke, constipation and some cancers.

Stay Away from Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs

If you use drugs, smoke, or drink alcohol while you’re pregnant, your baby may be born too early or too small, be born too sick to live, be developmentally delayed and/or have heart or breathing problems.

Smoking during pregnancy is the most preventable cause of illness and death among mothers and infants. Smoke in the home or car makes it hard for babies to breathe, and can cause serious health problems.

Your baby needs your love and attention. A mom who uses drugs or abuses alcohol may not care for her baby properly, and is putting her health at risk.

Ask a WIC Health Professional about resources to help you quit.

Why Breastfeeding is Good for Mother and Baby?

Because breastfeeding….

  • is nutritionally the best method of infant feeding,
  • helps moms and babies bond,
  • is cheaper than formula,
  • helps a woman’s uterus return to normal size,
  • helps moms lose weight they gained during pregnancy (you can burn up to 500 extra calories each day!),
  • may protect moms against breast cancer.
  • helps lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and
  • may reduce your child’s long-term risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Because breast milk….

  • is the perfect food for babies.
  • is easy for babies to digest.
  • is always warm and ready to feed, and
  • protects babies against infections, some diseases, and food allergies.

Because breastfed babies…

  • love to breastfeed and it comforts them,
  • are sick less often
  • spit up less, and
  • have less constipation and diarrhea.

Learn more on our Breastfeeding page!

After You Have A Baby

Did you know it is best to wait at least 18 months between giving birth and getting pregnant again? Getting pregnant too soon increases your next baby’s chances of being born too early and having low birth weight, increasing the risks for long-term health problems.

  • See your healthcare provider regularly.
  • Schedule your after-pregnancy check-up.
  • Ask about birth control options that are right for you.
  • Talk to your provider about your plans for a future pregnancy so you can act on health issues and risks before you get pregnant.
  • See your provider yearly to get screened for high blood pressure, cancers-breast, cervical and others, diabetes, sexually transmitted infections and other conditions.
  • Talk to your doctor about when to start physical activity. Aim to work up to 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week.

Immunizations are Important

Children need shots to prevent dangerous diseases like measles, mumps, polio, and whooping cough. Older children, teenagers and adults need shots too. Protect your family by making sure you all get needed shots on time. Ask the WIC staff or your doctor about free immunizations and a shot schedule.

This post was last updated on April 6th, 2021 at 4:57 PM

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