June ’16 Newsletter

Every month Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds & Director Susan Orban likes to connect you with current articles, events, and resources to help you keep your family healthy and informed!

Do you need another reason to visit a local farmers market this year?

Only 1% of the food we eat is produced in RI
Despite the efforts of our passionate farmers and fishing families, only about one percent of the food we eat is produced in the Ocean State. A recent article in the Providence Business News reported that the high cost of dwindling acres of possible farmland is a big part of the crisis.
     Two bits of good news. First, Rhode Island has joined a regional coalition to increase locally-produced food. Plus, organizations like Farm Fresh Rhode Island are connecting local producers with schools, businesses, restaurants, and other major consumers.
     Second, it’s summer! Locally-grown, delicious-tasting fresh food is rarely more than a half-hour’s drive away and frequently just a walk downtown. And markets are increasingly accepting SNAP/WIC benefits thanks to our joint work with Thundermist Health Center.
Farm Fresh Rhode Island has a map of all the expected farmers markets in Rhode Island as well as nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut. South County sites include Charleston, Narragansett, Richmond, South Kingstown (2), Westerly (2), and Wickford.

The “2” in 5-2-1-0

How to limit your child to no more than two hours a day of screen time this summer
South County Health Bodies, Healthy Minds is running the region’s 5-2-1-0 program. “5-2-1-0” is a daily prescription of 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables, no more than 2 hours of screen time, 1 hour or more of physical activity, and zero sugary drinks.
     The Alliance for a Healthier Generation has tackled the “2” with some great suggestions.
     For example: help your child choose his or her favorite TV shows and schedule them on an actual calendar. When each show is over, turn off the TV to avoid “runover”.
     Create a Top 10 list of activities – bike riding, shooting hoops, walking the dog – as a reminder there are positive alternatives to the computer, smartphone, and television screens.
     And “cut the cord” in the bedroom: make it a “screen-free” zone.

What makes children resilient? Play this game to find out

You get 20 “Resiliency Dollars” to help build a better community for kids
Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child offers you a challenge. All the children on its online playground have challenges and assets. Some make them more resilient; others make them dangerously vulnerable.
     You have 20 Resiliency Dollars to help the children of this community. But you have to act fast; a problem crops up every few minutes. Sound familiar?

An early reading “toolkit” for families

A parent- and pediatrician-friendly website with facts and tips for every age group
The American Academy of Pediatrics has unveiled its “Books Build Connections Toolkit”. The site boasts 8 age-appropriate fact sheets for parents and caregivers. For example: “Sharing a book with your baby up to age 3 months: they love the special one-on-one attention they get when you read, talk, sing, and play with them.”
    Another four downloadable PDFs encourage pediatric professionals to maximize their key role as the family’s health advisor. The site also includes book recommendations, identifies other literacy organizations, and describes several pediatric professional initiatives.
    The PDFs and other resources on the website are bright and easy to read; you want to run home and read to a baby!
     The Academy partners with Reach Out and Read, as does South County Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds.
Visit the “Books Build Connections Toolkit” to learn more about reading to children from birth to school age.
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