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Real Stories from Real Parents

Healthy Habits


Children love to imitate mom and dad, and this puts parents in an ideal situation to model healthy habits. While no one can be perfect all the time, eating a healthy diet and being physically active with your children on most days sends the right message. In addition, consider modeling the following healthy behaviors recommended by the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Limit screen time – whether it’s a television, computer or phone screen
  • Wear your seatbelt
  • Wear a helmet for activities such as biking or skating
  • Apply sunscreen
  • Brush and floss teeth every day
  • Don’t smoke
  • Wash hands
  • Make time for family dinner

Finally, if you make it a habit to reach for water instead of soda or juice to quench your thirst, your children will most likely make water their beverage of choice. Not only will this healthy habit help control calories, but it will also reduce the risk for tooth decay.


Baby Essentials


Expecting a new baby is an exciting time, but it can also be exhausting – especially the first few days home from the hospital. To ensure you have everything on hand for feeding baby, we’ve compiled the following list of essentials:


If breast-feeding:

  • Bottled water
  • Nursing pillow
  • Nursing bras
  • Breast pump (sometimes insurance will cover cost)
  • Collection bottles and bags for storing breast milk
  • Nursing pads
  • Nipple cream
  • Contact number or email for trained, lactation professional if breast-feeding becomes difficult

If formula feeding:

  • Mix of 2-, 4- and 8-ounce bottles and nipples
  • Bottle warmer (can warm bottle in pan of water, but never heat bottle in microwave)
  • Bottle brush or steam sterilizer for cleaning bottles
  • Bottle basket if using dishwasher to clean bottles
  • Baby bibs and burp cloths
  • Iron-fortified formula
  • Nursery® water for mixing formula
  • Pacifier – if you choose

Of course, what goes in must come out. In fact, you’ll change your baby’s diaper at least 6 times daily after the first week of life. While you may be tempted to buy a truckload of diapers, it’s best to buy in small amounts as babies grow quickly.

Preschool Bound


Mother was right and research shows children who eat a healthy breakfast concentrate and function better in school and have healthier body weights. Lunch is also important to sustain energy throughout the day and during afterschool activities. Here are some ideas that will increase the odds of your child eating what you pack:

  • Let your child pick out his own lunchbox or insulated lunch bag
  • Allow children to help prepare their own lunches the night before
  • Stock up with healthy options such as whole grain breads, almond butter, light tuna, lean meats, eggs, low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese and hummus
  • Guide children to pick a variety of foods from the five food groups which include vegetables, fruits, grains, low-fat dairy and protein

Calcium is important for growing children. Encourage them to drink milk with lunch by packing a container or sending milk money. Low-fat chocolate milk can be offered as a treat. If your child refuses to drink milk, offer 100% fruit juice fortified with calcium and Vitamin D. Also, pack a water bottle so your child learns to reach for water to quench thirst between meals.