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75,000 NJ Kids Benefit from Healthy U

April 12, 2018

Healthy U combats childhood obesity through nutrition education, physical education and family involvement. The program partners the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey with the NJ YMCA State Alliance and its 37-member associations. Together, the grant funds three programs: The Healthy U YMCA Afterschool program, The Healthy U YMCA Early Childhood Education Program, and the Healthy U School-based Program. Healthy U uses the CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) curriculum to educate and support environments for healthy eating and increased physical activity. Although Healthy U is a program to help prevent obesity, it also leads to improved academic performance and reduced illness and behavior issues. Healthy U ensures that children and families are provided with environments that encourage positive behavior toward physical activity and healthy eating. Sue Cornell, Healthy U Director for the NJYMCA State Alliance, oversees the statewide program. “What’s different about Healthy U is the focus on changing behavior […]

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Partnering for a Tobacco-Free Camden

April 12, 2018

Despite raising the smoking age to 21 and banning tobacco purchases to those younger than 21, New Jersey still faces a predicament when it comes to tobacco use among children and teens.   Tobacco companies are doing all they can to put tobacco into the mouths of kids. They now offer mini-cigars and cigarillos at lower prices—3 for $1.00—and flavored tobacco that especially appeals to younger taste buds. Compounding the problem, retailers promote tobacco with oversized and often flashy advertising. Too often, the stores and their ads are within walking distance of schools, enticing youths to try some gummy bear, cotton candy or chocolate tobacco products.   “Research shows that advertising and promotion at the point of sale increase youth and adult tobacco use, normalize and exaggerate the popularity of tobacco use, trigger impulse purchases and discourage cessation attempts,” said Kim Burns, Southern Regional Coordinator for Tobacco Free for a […]

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New Brunswick To Share Ciclovia Best Practices at 2-Day Study Tour: April 21-22

April 12, 2018

This year marks the fifth anniversary of New Brunswick’s Ciclovia—an Open Streets initiative that closes the streets to cars and opens them to people, promoting healthy active living by experiencing New Brunswick’s vitality, livability and diversity in a safe place for people to exercise and play. The New Brunswick Ciclovia is known as a model Open Streets program in New Jersey. Ciclovia has grown each year adding participants, activities, vendors and entertainment, while also expanding the route and nearly quadrupling the number of annual Ciclovia events. This success has garnered curiosity and inquiries from organizations and municipalities across the state asking what it would take to bring Ciclovia to their respective cities and towns. As a result, New Brunswick is hosting a two-day Study Tour on April 21 and April 22. The Study Tour will answer those questions by providing an in-depth look through first-hand experiences for developing an Open […]

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Statewide Healthy Corner Store Campaign Offers Heart-Healthy Food Access and Screenings for Shoppers

April 12, 2018

In a number of communities across the state of New Jersey, residents are improving their health – right in their corner store. One example is Edward Logan Jr., a Camden resident who began participating in The Food Trust’s Heart Smarts program at his neighborhood store, Ferry Avenue Market. After attending eight monthly lessons and continuing to make healthy choices once the lesson series had ended, Edward – who had uncontrolled Type 2 diabetes –began taking control of his health. Since 2014, he’s lost 40 pounds, and his A1C levels (measurement of how much sure is attached to the blood’s hemoglobin protein) have decreased from 12.7% (significantly higher than normal levels of 5.7% or below) to 5.2%.      The Heart Smarts program is part of the New Jersey Healthy Corner Store Initiative and brings free nutrition lessons and free health screenings (blood pressure, BMI, stroke and heart disease assessments) right […]

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Education and Expansion of Local Healthy Food Supply Promoted at Farmers Market Conferences

April 12, 2018

Individuals ranging from farmers to state officials came together during two Farmers Markets Conferences on Monday, March 26 in West Windsor and Wednesday, April 4 at the Ironbound Early Learning Center in Newark. The goal was to provide information about the benefits and opportunities available for Jersey Farmers’ Markets. More than 50 representatives from farmers markets, as well as local farms and vendors, attended the West Windsor Conference. And, another 100-people attended Newark’s Urban Farmer’s Market Conference held at Ironbound Community Corporation. Ironbound Community Corporation Executive Director Joe Della Fave opened the conference stating, “We need more uplifting and less uprooting of people in our urban centers.” The Conferences were designed to advance the opportunities and address the barriers involved in cultivating a thriving farmers market. Conference segments included: a panel of local farmers, as well as discussion topics related to USDA/NJ SNAP/WIC eligibility, and tips and strategies to help […]

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April is National Minority and Multicultural Health Month

April 12, 2018

“Partnering for Health Equity” is this year’s national theme for the National Minority and Multicultural Health (OMMH) Month. National Minority Health Month is observed every year in April to highlight the health disparities that persist among racial and ethnic minority populations and the ways in which legislation, policies and programs can help advance health equity. The US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health is encouraging “partnerships at the national, state, tribal and local levels to continue the work of reducing health disparities and advancing health equity.   NJPHK’s Darrin Anderson recently partnered with NJ Department of Health and participated in a panel discussion entitled, “Healthy Communities Begin with Health Equity.” The event was held on Friday, April 6 at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ.    Panel participants also included Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Marco Navarro and NJ Health Initiative’s Diane Hagerman. Anderson provided examples of […]

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March Is National Nutrition Month

March 9, 2018

Go Further with Food It’s Sunday, you’ve opened your refrigerator to check your food supply. After you determine what you need, you head out to the grocery store. Once you return from grocery shopping, you unpack your bags and start to cook your Sunday meal. But, have you ever considered preparing a weeks’ worth of meals in advance? That’s exactly what the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is encouraging families across the nation to do as part of its “Go Further with Food” campaign during National Nutrition Month. “Preparing several meals on weekends can provide balanced meals that can easily be reheated throughout the week,” says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Kristen Smith. “It’s also a great way to eat healthfully, save time during the week and reduce food waste.” Preparing your own food can be time consuming, but it is the healthiest way for you to monitor what […]

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Healthy March Madness Snacks

March 9, 2018

You’ve got your college basketball brackets picked out, now it’s time to start watching the games! Beware, there are a LOT of games being played over the next few weeks, so indulging in the usual pizza and wings may leave you with a few extra pounds come April. Step up your game and get into the March Madness spirit, by choosing some delicious healthier options to serve as you watch the tournaments! We’ve highlighted 10 healthy March Madness recipes you can pass around, below. 1. Spiralized Potato Chips with Onion Dip A healthy easy and delicious alternative to traction fried potato chips, the homemade chips are sure to have your guests hoping for overtime. 2. Sea Salt & Lime Popcorn Lightly salted, zesty and bursting with lime flavor, this sea salt & lime popcorn is a must for the snack table! Pop some up for game day or for anytime […]

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Nestlé Partnering with New Jersey YMCAs on Start Healthy/Stay Healthy Program

March 9, 2018

The NJ YMCA State Alliance and New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids are partnering with Nestlé to pilot the Nestlé Start Healthy/Stay Healthy parent education program in five YMCA pre-schools throughout New Jersey. Start Healthy/Stay Healthy educates parents and caregivers about the nutritional needs of children during their first 1,000 days of life—from conception to age two. Sue Cornell, Healthy U Director for the NJ YMCA State Alliance, said the goal of the program is to “create conditions and opportunities that develop a foundation of healthy habits for life.” “More than 20% of children in the U.S. between the ages of two to five are overweight or obese, which increases the likelihood that they will be overweight adults. Early care and education programs, such as pre-k, child care centers and Head Start, can directly influence what young children eat and drink, encourage physical activity and promote healthy habits,” explained Cornell. […]

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Celebrating ACNJ’s Cecilia Zalkind during Women’s History Month

March 9, 2018

A part-time job turned into a lifetime career for Cecilia Zalkind, President and Chief Executive Officer of Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ). While in law school, Zalkind met ACNJ’s Executive Director and signed on to do legislative policy work. “It probably was the luckiest day of my life,” Zalkind said. “Before law school, I had been a social worker at DYFS, which was by turns challenging, enlightening and frustrating. I knew there had to be a better way to help kids in the system.” She found that “better way” with ACNJ, and has stayed on for 34 years advancing in leadership roles that have helped produce key policy advances in child welfare, early care and education and health care in New Jersey. “It’s been a privilege to work here,” Zalkind said. ACNJ has become the best-known, most respected research and advocacy group for children in the state, with […]

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