Thursday, March 22, 2018

Lead and Nutrition: What's the Connection?


All children need to be tested for lead at one year old and two years old.  Along with pediatricians, the Clinton County Health Department helps identify children who have lead poisoning.  When children have high lead levels I can teach families how to keep their homes clean of lead dust and what to eat to help decrease lead in the body. I can help you in person at your home or offer you information that can be mailed to you. Since it is National Nutrition Month, I have some information below that is helpful to keep you and your children healthy!

Did You Know

Eating a healthy diet could help prevent childhood lead poisoning?  A diet rich in calcium, iron, and Vitamin C, can help reduce the absorption of lead into the body.  Lead poisoning can cause learning, growth and behavioral problems in young children. Click here to find out the dietary recommendations for your child. 

This is How It Works

Lead dust is either inhaled, when it’s kicked-up into the air, or ingested, when objects contaminated with lead are put into the mouth.  Once lead gets into the blood stream it tricks the body into thinking it is calcium and gets absorbed into the bones, brain and nervous system. Lead is also absorbed into the body faster on an empty stomach or if the diet is high in fat.

Here’s What You Can Do

·         Identify and remove all sources of lead exposure.

·         Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before eating and before naps and bedtime.

·         Wash all fruits and vegetables before cooking or eating.

·          Eat four to six small meals or snacks throughout the day to keep your stomach full and reduce the body’s absorption of lead.

o    Foods high in calcium:  milk or milk products, green leafy vegetables, salmon, calcium-fortified foods like tofu, orange juice and soy milk.

o   Iron rich foods: lean red meat, eggs, fortified cereals, bread, pasta, dried fruit, beans and lentils.

o   Don’t forget your Vitamin C!  It is commonly found in citrus fruits such as cantaloupe, strawberries, mangos, and melons as well as in peppers, tomatoes and potatoes.

For more information call the Clinton County Health Department at 518-565-4848 and ask to speak to a Lead Poison Prevention Program Nurse or visit http://www.clintonhealth.org/leadpoisoning.

Noreen Wolansky, RN

Registered Professional Nurse

Friday, March 9, 2018

Let's Go Further with Food


If you’re like me, you have a fridge full of leftovers that keep getting pushed to the side until finally (weeks later) they get thrown out. The guilt starts to sink in when I’m emptying containers full of food into the garbage, ultimately throwing my money away. But what I don’t always realize is that I am also contributing to the estimated 90 billion pounds or $107 billion worth of food that goes uneaten each year. For a family a four, this translates to about $1,500 worth of food wasted annually!
March is National Nutrition Month® and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is reminding us to Go Further with Food. This years theme encourages us to eat healthfully while reducing food loss and waste. With the help of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a little planning I started doing these three things to save nutrients and money. Give them a try!
1.      Make a Game Plan – meal planning is one of the best ways to save time and money. I make a list of meals for the week that include lots of healthy foods like lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, veggies and low-fat dairy. I also choose meals that I can easily throw together on busy weeknights. Then I check my freezer and cupboards to see what ingredients I already have on hand before heading out to the grocery store. Need some recipe inspiration? Visit https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/

2.      Watch It – your mind can play tricks on you, stay one step ahead and make sure you know what portion sizes are just right for you! Visit https://www.choosemyplate.gov/ for your personalized meal plan.

3.      Love your leftovers -  using leftovers to create delicious and nutritious meals all week long is a great way to Go Further with Food. Check http://www.clintonhealth.org/foodsafety/ to make sure you are reheating foods to safe temperatures.
Ready to have some fun?! Click here to find out if you are a MyPlate Master.

KayLeigh Raville, RD, CDN, CLC
Public Health Nutritionist