Monthly Archives: March 2014

Teaching Nutrition Education in the Store

By Jamie Shuster

One of our WIC program’s core missions is to provide nutrition education to participants so they can learn how to make healthy food choices on a limited budget. Nutrition education is key to tackling obesity in South Carolina. So we were pleased when the S.C. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SCAND) announced at our last statewide obesity stakeholder meeting that they were partnering with BI-LO to lead grocery store tours across South Carolina to help people learn how to shop for healthy foods. Our outreach team quickly began working with SCAND and our WIC dietitians to participate in the effort and get the word out to our WIC clients and community partners about the tours.

Thursday, DHEC Director Catherine Templeton joined Claire Tidwell, a registered dietitian with our WIC program, and SCAND President Kathy Mercer on a free tour of the “Gamecock” BI-LO in Columbia. Claire and Kathy did a great job teaching tour participants how to find the best prices on healthy produce, what nutrition elements to look for when buying every day staples, and how to find the best prices per unit.

Thank you to our regional community systems directors (Felicia, Lillie, Suzanne, and Suzette) for your help in promoting the tours locally, and to all of our registered dietitians who volunteered their time to support these free nutrition education outreach events.

Recognizing our RDs

by Jamie Shuster

Registered dietitianToday is Registered Dietitian Day, which provides the perfect opportunity to highlight some of the great work our RDs do here at DHEC Public Health.

RDs have degrees in dietetics, nutrition, public health or a related field and work in many different roles to ensure that people understand what they are eating and the impacts that food decisions have on their health. In South Carolina, RDs also must complete an accredited, supervised dietetic internship, pass a national exam, and attain a license to practice from LLR.

Here at DHEC, our RDs provide a variety of services including:

  • offering medical therapy for our clients with complex medical conditions like diabetes
  • working with families to help provide specialized diets for children with metabolic disorders
  • helping parents use special equipment to feed children with a cleft lip or palate
  • helping WIC clients learn about nutrition, achieve a healthy weight, and encourage breastfeeding
  • assisting families and seniors with planning nutritious meals on a budget through the SNAP nutrition education program
  • increasing access to locally-grown fruits and vegetables through the Farm to School program and farmers markets

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Breastfeeding Peer Counselors

by Jamie Shuster

tremelia-gorePromoting breastfeeding is one of the priority focuses of DHEC Public Health. Increasing the number of women who choose to breastfeed is an effective, evidence-based strategy to fight childhood obesity. Here at DHEC, we’re fortunate to have the support of breastfeeding peer counselors through our Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.

Our WIC breastfeeding peer counselors are moms who have successfully breastfed their babies and use their experience to provide support and guidance to new moms who choose to breastfeed. These peer counselors serve as the backbone to our WIC breastfeeding program, offering encouragement to new moms and answering their questions and concerns.

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Motor vehicle crash deaths declining among SC kids

By Katie Philpott

New data from the CDC shows that motor vehicle crash deaths among children are decreasing nationally, but there is still work to do to ensure kids stay safe while riding in cars.

South Carolina is seeing similar declines in motor vehicle fatalities in young children. Preliminary numbers from the S.C. Department of Public Safety show that fatalities in children ages 0 to 12 years dropped from 19 in 2011, to nine in 2013.

The diligent work of DHEC’s injury and violence prevention team has helped these numbers go down. Our staff works daily with local and national partners to offer free child safety seat inspections, teach child passenger safety classes in the community, and work with law enforcement to make sure our kids stay safe in moving vehicles.

To learn more about the ways we’re working to help more children stay safe while riding in cars, visit our website. Our partners at Buckle Buddies also have some great tips and resources.