Arin M. Daigneau RD, CDE, IBCLC: Healthy foods, healthy families

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March is National Nutrition Month, and we’re celebrating the great work being done through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children. WIC is a nutrition education, breastfeeding support and supplemental food program. The program serves low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children to age 5.

Highlights from 2013:

■ A total of 283 women, 267 infants and 327 children were served across Moffat and Routt counties. That is a total of 877 individuals.

■ WIC families have at least four appointments per year. We take pride in developing relationships, providing quality nutrition education, referrals and vouchers to take to the store and buy healthy foods. In 2013, our local WIC program was able to provide more than $333,000 worth of healthy foods to young families in Moffat and Routt counties.

■ We are happy to have partnered with local community agencies to enhance services for our clients. We look forward to continuing work with these and other organizations in the community.

■ We partnered with Connections 4 Kids in Moffat County to give each child their own portioned MyPlate.

■ We worked with LiveWell in Routt County to provide families the ingredients to make a new recipe.

■ We partnered with First Impression’s Cavity Free at Three coordinator to offer an oral health screening day in VNA’s Steamboat Springs clinic.

■ We partnered with the Family Development Center to provide Colorado Bright Beginnings visits to our WIC families.

Breastfeeding is a top priority for WIC. In 2013, 86 percent of our moms initiated breastfeeding, and we increased the rate of exclusive breastfeeding for 3 months to 22 percent from 9 percent in 2012. We take great pride in the fact that all of our breastfeeding rates are on the rise and well above the state WIC average.

In 2014, we will be expanding our services to Jackson County and are looking forward to becoming part of the Walden community. We will also be highlighting the 5-2-1-0 campaign, resuming our prenatal breastfeeding classes, starting Colorado Bright Beginnings classes, have plans to develop an infant-feeding class and are in the process of organizing grocery store tours with local Cooking Matters instructors through LiveWell.

We also are very excited to announce that the Colorado WIC Program is sponsoring a two-day Lactation Management Training in Steamboat Springs on April 23 and 24. If you are a health care professional who interacts with breastfeeding mother-baby pairs and would like more information about the training, you can go to www.teachsourceinc.com for more details.

If you have questions about the WIC program or are interested in enrolling your family, please give us a call today at 970-871-7653.

Arin M. Daigneau RD, CDE, IBCLC

NWCOVNA WIC program director

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