Mealtime might just be the most challenging part of being a mom.
Healthy kids require healthy foods. But how do you choose nutritious foods – and how do you get your kids to eat them?
Lashell decided her daughter would start getting the right nutrition even before she was born.
She’d heard that the Wisconsin WIC Program would be there for her before, during and after her pregnancy – to teach her how to make mealtimes healthier, and to provide help to buy nutritious foods.
“I started with WIC when I was pregnant,” Lashell says. “They give you one-on-one coaching. I learned more and more.
It was really helpful to me, especially when I was breastfeeding.
I wanted to know what I’m supposed to eat and drink, and what I was not supposed to.
Like, I didn’t know that when I was pregnant I shouldn’t eat things like hot dogs, fast food, or canned food because of the preservatives. They’re experts at knowing the right foods.”
Baby Londyn is ten months old now, and WIC has been there for Lashell every nutritional step of the way.
The monthly food vouchers, she says, help create a healthy family menu.
“You get vouchers for things like bread, peanut butter, milk, juice, tuna and eggs – and fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmers market.
I usually didn’t eat fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. WIC provides so much healthy food, and a lot of variety, so Londyn will know more different foods.
Squash is one of her favorites, and now she’ll even eat broccoli, the hardest vegetable to get a kid to eat.”
It’s a menu that is ever changing. “I’ll have to figure out what she might like,” she says.
“If it’s something I never had, I’ll get it and try it. If she doesn’t like it, I’ll let them know on our next visit.
They work with me to find things that work for us.”
As little Londyn grows, WIC will be there for her and her mom.
We’re here for you, too, providing food and nutrition information to help keep pregnant women, infants and children under five healthy and strong.
For more information about WIC or to find an office near you, call 1-800-722-2295 or visit www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/wic.
WIC Mealtime Tips
• Families who eat together tend to eat healthier meals. Set a family goal to eat at least one meal together every day.
• Serve meals at the table.
• Sit at the table with your child during snack time.
• Talk about happy or fun things during meals.
• Children eat better with routines – offer 3 healthy meals and 2 snacks at about the same times each day.
• Offer children child-size servings.
• Allow your child to serve themselves from the serving bowls, whenever possible.
• Ask your child to taste foods, but don’t force them to eat all of it.
• Let everyone decide how much to eat. Your child is learning to eat when hungry and to stop eating when full.
• Allow your child to spit out a food they do not prefer.
• If your child refuses to eat a certain food, a similar food may be offered at the next snack.
• Even if your child is not eating, make sure they are at the dinner table during mealtimes.
• Eat with the television off.