Keeping your Child Nourished
Good nutrition begins before birth and is highly dependent upon a mother's well-being. That is why it is so important to be sure you eat right, get enough rest, and stay away from caffeine, alcohol, drugs, and nicotine. After all, from the moment you conceive until the moment you give birth, the baby that is growing within you is 100% dependent on you.
Once your baby is born, the least expensive and most nutritious way to feed an infant is through breastfeeding. Breastfeeding decreases the possibilities that your baby will get a variety of infectious diseases, ear infections, diarrhea, etc. It is as good for the mom as it is for the infant as it encourages faster weight loss and reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Once a child is old enough to eat solid foods, those foods should be packed with nutrition – lots of fruits and vegetables, high in calcium and fiber, and a minimum of refined sugars (candy, cakes, soda…) and fats.
New Jersey WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Program
If you are having trouble feeding your family, you may be eligible for food and services through the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Program. New Jersey WIC services are available to low and no income families as well as families experiencing unemployment, military deployment, and other interim family financial hardships. Women who are pregnant, or have recently had a baby, or are breastfeeding and infants and children under the age of five are able to take advantage of this program if they live in NJ and meet income requirements. To make an appointment to apply for WIC services contact the site near you or call toll free 1-866-44 NJ WIC (446-5942).
SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) may be of help to you. To see if you are eligible, complete a benefits screening. If you meet the eligibility requirements, this program provides low-income families with assistance by issuing electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards that can be used to purchase nutritious food at authorized retail food stores. You can apply online or you can contact the local Board of Social Services. Food stamps are available to low-income households, including families, couples without children, individuals, seniors, disabled persons, legal immigrants and victims of family violence. For more information click HERE or call 1-800-687-9512.