During the month of March, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program is encouraging residents to start small in their goals for healthy eating habits “one forkful at a time” as part of National Nutrition Month.
This year’s theme, “Put Your Best Fork Forward,” is intended to inspire people to begin with manageable changes, encouraging families to focus on healthful eating when planning meals to prepare at home or when making selections dining out.
“WIC helps individuals implement these minor changes by bringing knowledge and experience to help participants balance their choices, and bringing sustainable solutions to improve their healthful decision-making,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, Bureau for Public Health Commissioner and State Health Officer. “It is important for individualized eating plans to include a variety of favorite and nutritious foods, and for residents to incorporate physical activity most days of the week.”
Throughout the year, the WIC Program strives to communicate healthy eating messages that emphasize a balance of food and beverages within an individual’s energy needs, rather than focusing on any one specific food or meal. To this end, improving overall well-being requires a lifelong commitment to healthful lifestyle behaviors, emphasizing lasting and enjoyable eating practices and daily physical activity.
“This initiative is part of WIC’s mission to promote a healthy start for West Virginia’s children with a focus on the link between good nutrition and good health. Studies have shown that the WIC Program has played a significant role in improving birth outcomes and containing health care costs,” said Gupta. “WIC has resulted in fewer premature births and infant deaths and greater likelihood of a woman receiving prenatal care.”
The West Virginia WIC Program serves approximately 41,000 women, infants and children as part of its mission to optimize health outcomes through food and nutrition education.
For more information, visit http://ons.wvdhhr.org.