(Family Features) Food insecurity isn’t a new problem in the United States, but the economic upheaval created by the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the problem.
During the pandemic, households in the United States with children experienced an increase in food insecurity, despite overall rates of food insecurity staying the same. In 2019, 13.6% of households with children were food insecure, but by 2020, that number increased to 14.8%, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In general, child food insecurity rates are higher than overall food insecurity rates, according to the annual Map the Meal Gap study conducted by Feeding America, a nationwide nonprofit network of food banks. According to data from the Children’s Defense Fund, this is particularly prevalent among low-income families, single mother households and Black and Hispanic households.
What Food Insecurity Means for Children
Food insecurity and hunger are closely related but not quite the same. People who are food insecure don’t have reliable, ongoing access to an adequate supply of affordable, nutritious food. Hunger is a physical condition; food insecurity reflects barriers to obtaining food such as finances, physical location and transportation.
Infants and toddlers are particularly vulnerable to nutrient deficiencies because their nutrient needs are high, especially in relation to the size of their stomachs and appetites. Caregivers in food-insecure households may have little choice but to settle for cheaper, energy-dense but nutrient-poor foods. As a result, food-insecure infants and toddlers are not receiving adequate nutrition even when they may be receiving enough calories to satisfy hunger.
Even if a child isn’t physically starving, inadequate nutrition can negatively affect health in numerous ways, including immune system function, low weight, learning and developmental delays, vitamin deficiencies and more.
Ways to Help Promote Better Nutrition
Support good nutrition during infancy and toddlerhood for your own children and others in the community with these practical tips:
- Participate in (or introduce those in need to) aid programs. Government nutrition assistance programs help provide essential nutrition needs during infant and toddler years. One example is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which provides a variety of resources including food and health care referrals to support mothers and young children at nutritional risk, including pregnant, breastfeeding and post-partum women, as well as infants and children up to age 5.
Another example is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides benefits low-income families can use to purchase nutritious foods. For children and adults who are enrolled in certain care programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) helps ensure they have access to nutritious meals and snacks.
- Make purchases that work extra hard. In addition to producing foods that encourage better nutrition for children, some brands also make contributions that help offset food insecurity. For example, for every box of Plum Organics Super Smoothies purchased, the company donates a pouch to a child in need through its “The Full Effect” program. The smoothie is a specially formulated blend of fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains with no added sugars designed to fight malnutrition and help fortify the diets of children who don’t have access to regular, healthy meals.
- Act as a role model for healthy choices. Children learn by example, so be sure your little ones see you enjoying nutritious snacks, filling your plate with appropriate portions and preparing well-rounded meals. When kids are exposed to a wide range of healthy options early in life, those food choices become the norm as they grow older.
- Volunteer at a food bank. Getting hands-on by donating your time at a local food bank can help you understand the complexity of food insecurity. Many nutritious selections are perishable, and transporting and storing perishable goods is costly. Volunteers help offset a food bank’s operational expenses by contributing labor to sort donated items, prepare deliveries and more.
To find more information about foods that provide infants and toddlers the nutrients they need, visit plumorganics.com. Photos courtesy of Getty Images
Canada’s First Egg Bank Launches, Recruiting Ethnically Diverse Donors for Enhanced Donor Conceived Outcomes
TORONTO (Newswire.com) – Egg Bank Canada (EBC) proudly announces its official launch as Canada’s first egg bank, dedicated to providing immediate access to donor eggs while prioritizing the best outcomes for donor-conceived individuals, their parents, and the donors themselves. With a focus on diversity and a unique known donation option, EBC aims to revolutionize the landscape of assisted reproductive services.
Led by renowned fertility experts Dr. Clifford Librach and Dr. Abdul Munaf Sultan Ahamed, EBC has completed numerous donor cycles, solidifying its commitment to exceptional patient care and fulfilling the urgent need for accessible donor eggs in Canada. One of the cornerstones of EBC’s mission is to recruit ethnically diverse donors, recognizing the importance of offering a wide range of options to prospective parents seeking genetic diversity. By actively seeking donors from various ethnic backgrounds, EBC ensures that more individuals and couples can find a suitable match, increasing the chances of successful outcomes and fulfilling their dreams of parenthood.
EBC distinguishes itself through its commitment to empowered decision-making. The egg bank offers multiple options for donor-recipient relationships, including known, semi-known, and open ID arrangements. This enables donors and recipients to choose the level of contact and involvement they are comfortable with, fostering a sense of choice and control throughout the process.
However, what truly sets EBC apart is its additional legal agreement between all parties involved. By ensuring that patients and their donors fully understand their legal rights and obligations, EBC creates a supportive and transparent environment that safeguards the interests of all individuals involved in the donation process.
Dr. Clifford Librach, a pioneer in the field of fertility, expresses his excitement about the launch, stating, “Egg Bank Canada is dedicated to providing exceptional care and support to our patients while prioritizing the well-being of the donor-conceived individuals and their families. We firmly believe that we can help more individuals and couples achieve their dreams of building a family through our innovative approach and commitment to diversity.”
Dr. Abdul Munaf Sultan Ahamed, the IVF Scientific Director of EBC, adds, “Our team is thrilled to bring Canada’s first egg bank to life. We are committed to advancing the field of assisted reproductive services and ensuring that our patients receive the best possible care. With our emphasis on diversity and known donation options, we are confident that EBC will make a lasting impact on the lives of many.”
Egg Bank Canada invites individuals and couples seeking donor eggs and those interested in becoming donors to connect with them to learn more about their innovative approach to assisted reproductive services.
416-586-1648 ext. #5
Source: Egg Bank Canada
5 Tips to Keep Kids Healthy During the Holidays
(Family Features) As the year comes to a close, the weather gets colder and indoor festivities ramp up. Keeping children and their families healthy during the holidays should be a priority for everyone.
“While gathering with friends and loved ones is an exciting and important part of the holiday season, staying healthy should still be on top of your ‘to-do’ list,” said Drs. Tress Goodwin and Joelle Simpson, KinderCare medical advisors. “Simple actions can be some of the most effective at keeping everyone healthy to ensure this season is a joyous one.”
Consider these five tips from KinderCare’s medical experts to keep in mind throughout the holidays.
- Wash hands regularly. One of the simplest ways to prevent germ spreading is to wash your and your children’s hands often using soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer. Try to remember to wash your hands after leaving public places, before eating and after any diaper change or restroom visit. If someone in your home is not feeling well, wash your hands more often.
- Share joy, not germs. Try to distance yourself from anyone who is sick (like those with coughs and colds) and avoid close contact with others when you or your child are sick. Encourage children to cough or sneeze into their elbows if no tissues are available. As a good at-home practice, regularly clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces such as toys, cabinet and doorknobs, counters and tabletops.
- Keep meals well-balanced. Offer a healthy snack before holiday treats or make healthier versions of holiday favorites. Consider healthy snack options like fresh vegetables, fruits and dip, dried fruits, nuts or roasted sweet potatoes that can boost immunity for children and help balance out sugary treats. It’s also important to remember to eat healthy portion sizes and encourage children to listen to their bodily cues for hunger and fullness. Avoid juices or other sugary drinks and encourage children to drink plenty of water.
- Schedule personal time and get plenty of rest. Festivities can be merry but also overwhelming, especially for young children. Loud music, bright lights, lots of people and changes in schedules can leave them feeling overstimulated, which can lead to emotional outbursts. Make sure to leave some time in your week for simple joys, like cuddling up to read a book together or quiet play with immediate family members, so children have a chance to step out of the hustle and bustle. Remember holidays are meant to be fun, not stressful. While it may be tempting to pack every day with fun-filled activities, try to maintain children’s routines, including nap and bedtime schedules.
- Stay active. No matter what the weather is like, kids still need time to be physically active. Indoor play can be just as effective as time spent on the playground. Get creative with at-home winter fun with activities like dance parties, scavenger hunts and kids’ yoga. You can also visit indoor locations such as malls and museums to get those legs moving.
For more information or tips on holiday eating, indoor exercise and keeping children safe during the holidays, visit KinderCare.com.
Local Retail Outlets for Legal Marijuana May Be Associated With Alcohol Co-Use Among High School Students: New Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs Report
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Newswire.com) – Given the increasing trend toward legalizing marijuana in many states, there is growing concern that underage youth may find the drug easier to access. In fact, a recent study reported in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs suggests that in areas with local retail availability of legalized marijuana, high school students are more likely to use marijuana and alcohol together, as well as alcohol alone.
“Greater retail availability may ‘normalize’ marijuana use for young people, even if they are unable to purchase marijuana directly from retail businesses, and retail sales may introduce greater access through social sources,” says study lead author Sharon O’Hara, Dr.P.H., lecturer at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health and associate research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.
For their research, O’Hara and colleagues used info from the 2010-2011 and 2018-2019 California Healthy Kids Surveys of 9th and 11th graders in 554 public high schools in 38 California cities. Students were asked how often they used marijuana and alcohol over the previous 30 days.
The researchers also calculated the density of marijuana and cannabis retail outlets in each area (the number of outlets per square mile within the city limits).
Among the full sample, O’Hara and colleagues found a significant interaction between recreational marijuana legalization and marijuana outlet density, indicating a greater increase in the likelihood of alcohol use and co-use of alcohol and marijuana in cities with higher retail availability of cannabis after the passage of recreational marijuana legalization. A positive association between recreational marijuana legalization and marijuana use was found in cities at all levels of marijuana outlet density.
That outcome was expected, but a closer look at the data found some surprising results.
“We were most surprised by the effects of recreational marijuana legalization on the co-use of alcohol and marijuana by subgroups of alcohol users versus cannabis users,” says O’Hara. “We found significant positive associations between recreational marijuana legalization and co-use for past-30-day drinkers but significant inverse associations between recreational marijuana legalization and co-use among past-30-day marijuana users.”
The researchers hypothesize that, since its legalization, marijuana use has been increasing in the general population of California adolescents, while alcohol use continues to decrease.
“Given that, among the full sample of high school students, the effect of recreational marijuana legalization was strongest in the cities with relatively high marijuana outlet density; attention should be paid to policies that limit the retail availability of marijuana,” says O’Hara.
“Regulatory policies can be considered at the state level and in local jurisdictions with zoning authority over retail marijuana businesses,” she says. “So, even if your state legalizes recreational marijuana, you may have the ability to regulate the number and location of retail marijuana businesses using local land use authority.”
Source: Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Community9 months ago
Diana Gregory Talks to us about Diana Gregory’s Outreach Services
Senior Pickleball Report10 months ago
ACE PICKLEBALL CLUB TO DEBUT THEIR HIGHLY ANTICIPATED INDOOR PICKLEBALL FRANCHISES IN THE US, IN EARLY 2023
Entertainment11 months ago
The Absolute Most Comfortable Pickleball Shoe I’ve Ever Worn!
Blog10 months ago
Unique Experiences at the CitizenM
Automotive9 months ago
2023 Nissan Sentra pricing starts at $19,950
Senior Pickleball Report10 months ago
“THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS OF PICKLEBALL” – VOTING OPEN
influencers9 months ago
Keeping Pickleball WEIRD, INEXPENSIVE and FUN? These GUYS are!
Blog11 months ago
Assistory Showing Support on Senior Assist Day