Eating healthy foods helps new mothers stay physically well and keeps babies healthy while breastfeeding. Making sure young children eat healthy meals also prevents them from becoming overweight and developing health problems like diabetes and heart disease.
Unfortunately, some babies and children don’t get the food they need to be healthy and to avoid serious health problems. This can be for several reasons, including the following:
- Mothers have a hard time breastfeeding their babies or aren’t sure how to breastfeed correctly.
- Parents perceive it is easier to eat at fast-food restaurants than to cook healthy meals at home.
- New parents have never been told how important healthy foods are for their children, or their families don’t support their efforts to cook nutritious meals.
- Healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables, are often more expensive than foods that are high in fat and calories.
The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program helps teach new mothers how to breastfeed their infants, and provides nutritious foods to families to make sure children are eating healthy meals.
Women, Infants and Children
The WIC program, administered by the Nevada State Health Division, helps improve the health of low-income Nevada women, infants and children who are eligible for the program by providing supplemental nutritious foods (such as milk, cheese, eggs, cereal, fruit juice, beans, and peanut butter). These foods are rich in protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium & iron.
WIC encourages breastfeeding, since human breast milk is the best source of nutrition for infants. However, WIC also provides infant formula, as well as infant cereal and juice.
The WIC program also provides nutrition counseling, nutrition classes, breastfeeding support, and referrals to health and other social services at no charge to eligible participants.