American Heart Month

February 2018

February is American Heart month and the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona and the American Heart Association want to help everyone live longer, healthier lives by getting the word out on heart health. With cardiovascular disease accounting for nearly 801,000 deaths in the US, American Heart Month is an attempt to remind Americans to focus on their health. Check out the infographic below for more information:

American Heart Month Infographic

You can also help raise awareness, particularly on February 2nd, which is National Wear Red Day. Why wear red? It’s because February 2nd is a day that has been dedicated to helping raise awareness of the high risk of stroke and other cardiac events in women. By wearing red, you are helping spread the word that 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. Take control of your own health and encourage other women to do the same by knowing their numbers: Total Cholesterol, HDL (good) Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar and Body Mass Index (BMI). Knowing these numbers can help women and their healthcare provider determine their risk for developing cardiovascular diseases. Wear red, share your photos on social media, spread the word!

Native American Veteran Income Tax Settlement Fund

On November 22, 2000, the United States Justice Department issued a memo declaring that the taxation and withholding of state income taxes from active duty military pay of Native Americans domiciled on their reservation was impermissible. The United States Department of Defense began mandatory Arizona income tax withholding on all active duty military pay on September 1, 1993 and continued withholding Arizona income tax through December 31, 2005.

Beginning January 1, 2006, Arizona no longer taxed active duty military and therefore discontinued state income tax withholding on this type of income.

The Native American Veterans Income Tax Settlement Fund was established on July 1, 2016 to refund Arizona income tax erroneously withheld from Native Americans who served in the military while claiming tribal land as their domicile from September 1, 1993 through December 31, 2005. During the 2017 Arizona legislative session, House Bill 2158 was introduced to amend the original legislation when it was discovered the Department of Defense may have withheld Arizona income tax prior to September 1, 1993.

Effective August 9, 2017, refunds may be claimed for years 1977 through 2005. The claim form and additional information is available at the following websites:

AZ Department of Revenue        https://www.azdor.gov/NativeAmericanVeteranIncomeTaxSettlement.aspx

AZ Department of Veterans’ Services
https://dvs.az.gov/nasf-native-american-settlement-fund

Key Dates

  • December 31, 2019: The AZ Department of Veterans’ Services will not accept claims after this date.
  • June 30, 2021: The AZ Department of Revenue will not grant refunds after this date.
  • July 1, 2021: Any money left in the Fund will be swept into the general fund.

For questions, contact:

Verna Johnson
Project Manager
602.258.4822
Verna.johnson@itcaonline.com

Dental Awareness

October 2017

Taking good care of your teeth is not just about having a nice smile and pleasant breath.  A healthy mouth may help you ward off medical conditions.

Tooth decay is a significant health problem for American Indians.  In 2014, more than 2.4 million American Indians lived in counties with dental care shortage areas, and half of all American Indian children lived in a shortage area. In fact, preschool-aged American Indian children had four times more cases of untreated tooth decay than white children—43 percent compared with 11 percent. Studies show that it appears the prevalence of dental disease among American Indians is increasing. Read on to learn more about how poor dental health can affect your overall health.

Poorly Controlled Diabetes: If you have diabetes, you’re already at increased risk of developing gum disease. But chronic gum disease may, in fact, make diabetes more difficult to control. An infection may cause insulin resistance, which affects blood sugar control.

Cardiovascular Disease: Oral inflammation due to bacteria called gingivitis may play a role in clogged arteries and blood clots. It appears that bacteria in the mouth may cause inflammation throughout the body, including the arteries. This inflammation may cause buildup of plaques in the arteries, possibly increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Preterm Birth: Severe gum disease may increase the risk of preterm delivery and giving birth to a low birth weight baby. Research estimates  that as many as 18 percent of preterm, low birth weight babies born in the U.S. each year may be attributed to oral infections. They suspect oral bacteria release toxins, which reach the placenta through the mother’s bloodstream and interfere with the growth and development of the fetus.

Nutrition: Sensitivity in the mouth or pain while eating caused by dental problems can affect the foods we chose to eat. This can result in elimination of entire food groups which can greatly affect our health. Be sure to talk to your dentist about any pain or sensitivity in your mouth during your routine checkups.

Start taking care of your oral health early on in life because you’re making an investment in your overall health, not just for now, but for the future, too. See the information below to find steps to care for your mouth in all stages of life.

Dental Awareness Infographic

Healthy Mouth –  http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/

Fruit and Veggies – More Matters Month

September 2017

This month aims to bring your attention to eating more fruits and vegetables, whatever that may mean to you. You could add one more to your plate, try a fruit or veggie that is new to you, learn about fruits and vegetables, teach your kids, or try a new recipe.

Why is it so important to eat fruits and vegetables? The American Indian population has among the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the United States. Studies have shown that among overweight adults, higher intakes of green leafy or dark yellow vegetables were significantly associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. More than 90% of both adults and children do not eat the amount of fruits and vegetables recommended by the latest dietary guidelines. Dietitians recommend filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables.  Check out this link for tips to help meet this goal:

http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/quick-guide-to-getting-more-fruits-and-vegetables

FV More Matters_September

National Breastfeeding Month

August 2017

Every year, ITCA WIC local agencies highlight the importance of promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding by celebrating National Breastfeeding Month.  This year’s theme of Sustaining Breastfeeding Together celebrates working together for the common good, so that mothers are supported and protected in their breastfeeding efforts.   It continues to focus on sustainable development to better the planet for the generations to come.  Breastfeeding can have a beneficial effect on many different aspects of sustainability that may not be apparent.

Environment and Climate Change:

  • Breastfeeding uses less energy compared to making formula. It reduces the need for water, firewood and gas in the home.
  • Breastfeeding is earth friendly compared to formula feeding with zero packing, pollution and waste! Making formula involves dairy farming that stresses natural resources and adds to carbon emissions and climate change.
  • Breastfeeding creates less waste compared to formula feeding. Formula production and distribution lead to waste that pollutes the seas and affects marine life.

Nutrition, Food Security, and Poverty Reduction:

  • Breastfeeding is a natural and low-cost way of feeding babies and children. It is affordable for everyone and does not burden household budgets compared to formula feeding.  Breastfeeding can contribute to poverty reduction.
  • Breastmilk is FREE.  Not breastfeeding results in financial losses of about $302 billion each year. Families worldwide spend about $54 billion every year on formula.
  • Exclusive breastfeeding and continued breastfeeding for two years and beyond provide high quality nutrients and adequate energy that can help prevent hunger, undernutrition and obesity. Breastfeeding means food security for infants.

Survival, Health, and Well-being:

  • Breastfeeding improves the health, development and survival of infants and children.  It helps to improve health and wellbeing of mothers, both in the short and long term.
  • Breastfeeding reduces a woman’s risk of breast and cervical cancer. In fact, 20,000 deaths due to breast cancer could be averted if mothers breastfed.
  • Breastfeeding is essential for readiness to learn. Breastfeeding promotes brain development and helps with learning.

Breastfeeding promotion in the community and workplace can help improve all these aspects, but it requires collaboration and effort.  The more it is talked about, the more effective these messages will become.  WIC works to promote a positive attitude towards breastfeeding.  Let’s work to promote breastfeeding to help the lives of mothers, children, our planet and future generations to come.

For more information regarding World Breastfeeding Week, check out the following resources:

National Breastfeeding Month Infographic

WABA – World Breastfeeding Week – http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/

World Health Organization (WHO) – http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/

 

Hydration Tips

July 2017

Summer is here and so is the heat! During these hot days be sure to stay hydrated by following some of these tips.

Hydration_July_revised

High Blood Pressure Awareness Month

May 2017

May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month and ITCA WIC would like to share some information with you. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, increases the risk of certain diseases and stroke. Heart disease and stroke are the first and seventh major causes of death amongst American Indians and Alaska Natives respectively and yet many people with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it due to a lack of signs and symptoms. High Blood Pressure Education Month encourages people to get their blood pressure checked regularly and to look at various lifestyle factors which may be contributing to high blood pressure. Check out the following resources to find out what you can do to control your blood pressure.

High Blood Pressure Education_Infographic_May
5 Surprising Facts About High Blood Pressure 
Warning Signs of Heart Attack, Stroke & Cardiac Arrest
Definition, Causes, Treatment and Prevention of High Blood Pressure

 

 

Request For Proposal (RFP) ITCA-TWS 18-01

Request For Proposal (RFP) ITCA-TWS 18-01

PROJECT TITLE: Instruction of a Water Treatment-Level 1 Operator Training Course for Tribal Water Operators on April 9-12, 2018, in Camp Verde, Arizona

PROPOSAL DUE DATE: March 16, 2018, 5:00 P.M. local time in Arizona

VENDOR ANNOUNCEMENT DATE: February 21, 2018

EXPECTED PERIOD OF SERVICES: Tentatively March 23, 2018, through December 31, 2018

SUMMARY: The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA) Tribal Water System (TWS) Program is soliciting proposals for the instruction of a Water Treatment – Level 1 operator training course for Tribal water utility personnel on April 9-12, 2018, in Camp Verde, Arizona. The objective of the training course is to empower Tribal water utility personnel with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to operate and maintain Level 1 drinking water treatment facilities (see Request for Proposal (RFP) ITCA-TWS 18-01).   Click Here for the Request for Proposal (RFP)  Click Here for the Bidder Information Form

Requests to be placed on the ITCA Water RFP distribution list are accepted at any time by email to twsinfo@itcaonline.com

Request For Proposal (RFP) ITCA-TWS 18-02

Request For Proposal (RFP) ITCA-TWS 18-02

PROJECT TITLE: Instruction of a Water Distribution-Level 1 Operator Training Course for Tribal Water Operators on April 30-May 4, 2018, in Camp Verde, Arizona

PROPOSAL DUE DATE: March 16, 2018, 5:00 P.M. local time in Arizona

VENDOR ANNOUNCEMENT DATE: February 21, 2018

EXPECTED PERIOD OF SERVICES: Tentatively March 23, 2018, through December 31, 2018

SUMMARY: The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA) Tribal Water Systems (TWS) Program is soliciting proposals for the instruction of a Water Distribution – Level 1 operator training course for Tribal water utility personnel on April 30-May 4, 2018, in Camp Verde, Arizona. The objective of the training course is to empower Tribal water utility personnel with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to operate and maintain Level 1 drinking water distribution systems (see Request for Proposal (RFP) ITCA-TWS 18-02).  Click Here for the Request for Proposal (RFP)  Click Here for the Bidder Information Form

Requests to be placed on the ITCA Water RFP distribution list are accepted at any time by email to twsinfo@itcaonline.com 

 

Request For Proposal (RFP) ITCA-TWS 18-03

Request For Proposal (RFP) ITCA-TWS 18-03

PROJECT TITLE: Instruction of a Water Distribution-Level 1 Operator Training Course for Tribal Water Operators on August 13-17, 2018 in Gardnerville, Nevada

PROPOSAL DUE DATE: March 30, 2018, 5:00 P.M. local time in Arizona

VENDOR ANNOUNCEMENT DATE: February 21, 2018

EXPECTED PERIOD OF SERVICES: Tentatively April 30, 2018, through December 31, 2018

SUMMARY: The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA) Tribal Water Systems (TWS) Program is soliciting proposals for the instruction of a Water Distribution – Level 1 operator training course for Tribal water utility personnel on August 13-17, 2018, in Gardnerville, Nevada. The objective of the training course is to empower Tribal water utility personnel with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to operate and maintain Level 1 drinking water distribution systems (see Request for Proposal (RFP) ITCA- TWS 18-03).  Click Here for the Request for Proposal (RFP)   Click Here for the Bidder Information Form

Requests to be placed on the ITCA Water RFP distribution list are accepted at any time by email to twsinfo@itcaonline.com 

IMPORTANT: Postponement of Switching to the New ABC 2017 Exams

ITCA has postponed its use of NEW Certification Exams in 2017

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc (ITCA) National Tribal Water & Wastewater Operator Certification Program must postpone its switch to using the Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) new 2017 operator certification exams. 

Until further notice, the ITCA Program will continue using the existing ABC 2012 Standardized operator certification exams for both Paper-Booklet Testing and Computer-Based Testing.

For more information about this postponement, click here: Postponement of Change

If you have any questions, please contact the ITCA Tribal Water Department at (602) 258-4822.
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2017 ITCA Tribal Water/Wastewater Operator of the Year

Attention Tribal Water and Wastewater Professionals:

Have you noticed a water/wastewater operator working in Indian Country…

•Going above and beyond their assigned job duties?
•Lending support to a co-worker or staff member?
•Providing assistance to another utility?
•Volunteering in the community?
•Going the extra mile in any form?

Then here’s your chance to acknowledge and celebrate their efforts and hard work. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA) National Tribal Water & Wastewater Operator Certification Program is requesting nominations for the 2017 Tribal Water/Wastewater Operator of the Year Award.

Anyone is welcome to submit a nomination to show appreciation for the quality and integrity of the work done by an operator of a Tribal water or wastewater system. Nominations should be submitted by those who have personally witnessed the great work of the operator being nominated.

The deadline for submitting nominations is August 31, 2017.
Award ceremony will be on September 20-21, 2017.

Click Here: 2017 Operator of the Year Nomination Packet

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2015 Annual Report – Anniversary Edition

2015 Annual Report – Anniversary Edition


2015 Annual Report – Anniversary Edition
Download PDF File

Large Vehicle and Bus Traffic Enforcement Training Notice

At the invitation of the tribe, the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA) Tribal Epidemiology Center (TEC) will coordinate a Large Vehicle and Bus Traffic Enforcement training with the tribe. ITCA TEC will deliver the 4-hour instruction on how to safely conduct traffic enforcement involving large vehicles and buses to law enforcement.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration “developed the training to provide law enforcement officers, who have a duty and responsibility to enforce traffic laws with the knowledge and skills to safely and effectively conduct large truck and bus vehicle stops after observing an illegal and/or unsafe driving behavior.”

The following topics will be emphasized through presentations and videos:

  1. Observe — Identify traffic violations associated with large truck and bus crashes
  2. Consider — Identify safety considerations that apply before, during and after a vehicle stop
  3. Detect — Identify potential indicators of serious vehicle defects or criminal activity
  4. Review — Identify the documentation required for processing a large truck or bus vehicle stop
  5. Report — Identify the appropriate boxes to check when completing a citation for a large truck or bus

Click Here for more information.

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Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Tax Year 2017

The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is proud to have served the American Indian community and the community at large in providing free income tax preparation service since 2003.
For this year, the ITCA VITA site will be open to provide FREE income tax preparation for those with incomes of $54,000 or less. The VITA site will be open on the following dates:

Hours: Saturdays from 9:00am – 1:00pm

February 3, 2018 March 10, 2018 March 31, 2018
February 17, 2018 March 17, 2018 April 7, 2018
February 24, 2018 March 24, 2018 April 14, 2018

Closed: February 10, 2018 and March 3, 2018

Tax preparation is on a first-come, first serve basis and only a limited number of tax returns can be completed each session. Please plan accordingly.

What to bring:

  • Social Security cards (taxpayer, spouse, dependents)
  • Photo identification (tax filer, spouse)
  • Birthdates for filer, spouse, and dependents
  • All forms W-2 and 1099
  • Information for other income
  • Information for deductions/credits
  • Forms 1095
    • 1095-A: From healthcare marketplace (required)
    • 1095-B or C: Health Insurance Statements (not required but helpful)
  • Health Insurance Exemption Certificate (if received)
  • Amount paid to child care provider and their tax ID number
  • Copy of last year’s return (not required but helpful)
  • If filing joint, both you and spouse must be present to sign the return

No appointment necessary

TY2017 ITCA VITA flyer

Attached are several listings of VITA sites located within the valley.  For additional locations throughout the state, contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at 800.906.9887 or at http://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep to confirm site locations and hours of operation. Thank you.

Import information to note for Tax Year 2017

Some Refunds Delayed in 2018

The IRS will issue refunds starting February 27, 2018, for returns that claim the Earned Income Credit (EIC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). This applies to the entire refund, not just the portion associated with these credits. As in past years, the IRS will begin accepting and processing tax returns once the filing season begins. All taxpayers should file as usual, and tax return preparers should also submit returns as they normally do. Even though the IRS cannot issue refunds for some early filers until at least February 27, 2018, the IRS reminds taxpayers that most refunds will still be issued within the normal timeframe: 21 days or less, after being accepted for processing by the IRS.

IR-2018-01 – 2018 Tax Filing Season Begins Jan. 29, Tax Returns Due April 17; Help Available for Taxpayers (click here for more information)

For additional Hot Topics from the IRS, please go to https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/whats-hot

My Free Taxes

The United Way in partnership with H&R Block is offering an online tax preparation software for service for qualified individuals to prepare their own federal and state income tax returns.  Information is available at http://www.myfreetaxes.com.

Click here for flyer for information.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Services Guide

For information on general tax law, getting a transcript or a copy of return, making a tax payment, or checking on status of a return, please click here for information guide.

 

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Stay Active in the Winter

Just because it’s the holiday season, doesn’t mean you need to take a holiday from your exercise regimen. In fact, working out during the winter has many benefits. Check out the following for information regarding physical activity during these winter month that lie ahead:

Stay Active_December_Infographic_Page_1

https://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@fc/documents/downloadable/ucm_457235.pdf

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/Staying-Active-in-Cold-Weather_UCM_479901_Article.jsp#.WDN_xtIrJaQ

http://igrow.org/healthy-families/health-and-wellness/physical-activity-cold-weather/

Arizona Crash Report Training Notice

At the invitaton of a Tribe in Arizona, the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA) Tribal Epidemiology Center (TEC) will provide a 4-hour instructon on the Arizona Crash Report and supplemental forms. The following topics will be emphasized through a PowerPoint presentaton:

1. Arizona database of crashes
2. Federal database of crashes
3. Trafc records
4. Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria
5. Arizona’s Crash Report Form Instructon Manual
6. Arizona Crash Report
7. Supplemental forms to the Arizona Crash Report
8. ITCA Data Sharing Agreement

Click Here for more information.

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About Zika

Zika is a disease caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. It can also be spread by a man to his male or female sex partners during vaginal, anal, or oral (mouth-to-penis) sex. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.

More information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

More information from the Inter Tribal Council Tribal Epidemiology Center

American Diabetes Month

November 2016

The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona is honoring American Diabetes Month. Diabetes rates are on the rise in the US. Today, 1 in 11 Americans has diabetes and every 23 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes. American Indians have a 2.2 times higher likelihood to have diabetes compared to non-Hispanic whites. There was a 68% increase in diabetes between 1994 and 2004 among American Indian youths aged 15-19. Data from the 2009 Indian Health Services’ (IHS) National Patient Information Reporting System (NPIRS) indicate that 14.2 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives aged 20 years or older who received care from IHS had diagnosed diabetes. Statistics show that diabetes causes more deaths than AIDS and breast cancer combined.

People with diabetes can experience serious complications, including heart disease and stroke, blindness, chronic kidney disease, nervous system damage, and amputations. But people with diabetes who work with their health care providers and take care of their health can take steps to control the disease and lower the risk of complications and premature death.

There are a few types of diabetes; Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational. Type 1 is also referred to as juvenile diabetes because it typically appears in adolescence. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives. Type 1 diabetes accounts for only 5 percent of people with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases. This form of diabetes is caused by a combination of things; genetics, extra weight, specifically extra fat around the waist, and more. Gestational diabetes only appears in pregnant women and develops in 2 to 10 percent of all pregnancies. It usually disappears when a pregnancy is over. However, if not treated, it can cause problems for mothers and babies.

The CDC reports that healthy eating, physical activity, and blood glucose testing are the basic therapies for type 2 diabetes. Many people with type 2 diabetes require oral medication, insulin, or both to control blood glucose levels. Healthy eating, physical activity, and insulin injections are the basic therapies for type 1 diabetes. The amount of insulin taken must be balanced with food intake and daily activities. Blood glucose levels must be closely monitored through frequent blood glucose testing. People should see a health care provider who will monitor their diabetes control and help them learn to manage their diabetes. People with diabetes also may see ophthalmologists for eye examinations; podiatrists for routine foot care; and dietitians and diabetes educators who teach the skills needed for daily diabetes management

Adapted from: https://www.cdc.gov/media/matte/2011/11_diabetes_Native_American.pdf

For more information, check out:
Diabetes Month Infographic
http://www.diabetes.org/in-my-community/american-diabetes-month.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/about-niddk/research-areas/diabetes/diabetes-prevention-program-dpp/message-hope-prevent-diabetes-native-american-communities/Pages/default.aspx

World Food Day

October 2016

The Food and Agriculture Organization put out the following information regarding World Food Day 2016:

Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.

One of the biggest issues related to climate change is food supply and food security and with our population growing each day, this problem affects more and more people. Everyone has a role to play in lessening the effects of climate change. Countries need to invest in stallholder farmers and sustainably increase food production, but there are also a number of actions that you can take to help. By being a conscientious or ethical consumer and changing simple day-to-day decisions, for example, by wasting less food, or eating less meat, we can reduce our environmental footprint and make a difference.

For more information on World Food Day and how to do your part to reduce food loss and our carbon footprint, check out the following resources:

http://www.fao.org/world-food-day/2016/theme/en/
http://www.fao.org/world-food-day/2016/climate-actions/en/

World Food Day Infographic_October_new

 

Fruit and Veggies – More Matters

September 2016

The Inter Tribal Council on Arizona is celebrating September with the Fruit and Veggies – More Matters Campaign. The American Indian population has among the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the United States. Studies have shown that among overweight adults, higher intakes of green leafy or dark yellow vegetables were significantly associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. More than 90% of both adults and children do not eat the amount of fruits and vegetables recommended by the latest dietary guidelines. Dietitians recommend filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables.  Try these tips to help meet this goal:

  1. Fruit Skewers – Frozen fruit chunks such as grapes, banana slices, blueberries, mango or watermelon on skewers – make a rainbow on a stick.
  2. Breakfast Boost – Add bananas or berries to your morning cereal or oatmeal. If you eat an omelet, add bell peppers and onions for some extra flavor and nutrition.
  3. Fill up on Veggies – Making soup, pizza, sandwiches, or lasagna? Try adding some vegetables such as spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, etc.
  4. Be Sneaky – If you have a picky eater, try shredding or finely dicing some veggies into some of their favorite dishes.
  5. Feature a Fresh New Vegetable– have your child pick out a new vegetable each week and incorporate that vegetable into your meals or snacks. Children are much more likely to try something new when they pick it out themselves.
  6. Goodbye Cookie – Try offering fruits and veggies with a dip as a snack instead of cookies or crackers.  Studies show the popularity of serving cookies as a children’s’ snack is on the decline. Fruit is now the number one snack item parents give to children under the age of six. Try sliced cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, apples etc.
  7. Smoothies – Try using yogurt and your favorite mixture of fruits to blend together into a smoothie as a refreshing drink.
  8. Salad on the side – Try offering a small side salad at dinner time. Children can fill their plate with how ever much they want.

 

Reasons why to eat more fruits and vegetables?

  1. They are delicious!
  2. Fun to eat – some crunch, squirt, some you can peel, and some you can grow in your own backyard!
  3. Quick, convenient, and natural – fruits and vegetables are natures treat – they are very portable and easy to pack as a snack.
  4. Variety – They come in so many colors, shapes, and sizes.
  5. Vitamins and minerals – they pack a lot of nutrients to keep you feeling healthy and energized.
  6. May reduce risk of diseases – eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may reduce a person’s risk of many diseased including heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer.
  7. Low in calories.
  8. Fiber – fruits and veggies provide fiber that helps fill you up and keeps your digestive system happy.

Adapted from: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/September+is+Fruits+%26+Veggies–More+Matters+Month

To learn more about the importance of fruits and veggies, check out the following resources:
Fruit and Veggies – More Matters Infographic
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/
https://fnic.nal.usda.gov/dietary-guidance/fruits-veggies-more-matters-resources/fruits-veggies-more-matters

 

Beat the Heat! Stay Hydrated!

Arizona is one of the hottest places on earth from May to September which makes heat related illness very common during these months. Over 1,500 deaths from exposure to excessive natural heat have occurred in Arizona from 2000 to 2012. Anyone can be affected by heat-related illness but children under 4 years of age are at an even greater risk. One of the best ways to prevent heat related illness is to stay hydrated. The amount of water someone needs is variable depending on age, heat exposure, activity and other factors. Everyone should drink enough water to quench their thirst, however in extreme heat; we may forget to drink enough water. Most people will need at least 8-10 cups of water under normal conditions. More water may be needed if it is hot and the person is active. Try to minimize alcohol and caffeine intake because these drink may dehydrate you more. Offer kids water instead of sugary beverages such as juice, soda, Gatorade, kool-aid, and sweet tea.

Heat-related illness usually comes in stages. The signal of the first stage is thirst. Drinking water at this stage can prevent you from progressing to the more serious kinds of heat related illnesses. When temperatures are on the rise, watch for these other symptoms of heat related illness:
• Thirst, dry mouth and skin
• Headache
• Dizziness and confusion
• Nausea
• Fatigue
• Less frequent urination
• Increased heart rate
Check out the following resources to stay cool this summer and stay hydrated.

Stay Hydrated Infographic

Hydration- What you need to know

Hydration- Why It’s so Important

WIC services begin at NACA in Flagstaff

Native Americans for Community Action (NACA) began offering WIC services in Flagstaff on June 28, 2016! Call 928-773-1245 for an appointment or visit them at 1500 E. Cedar Ave, Suite 26 in Flagstaff.

National Safety Month

June 2016

ITCA WIC is honoring June as Safety Month by sharing some important safety tips for women, infants, and children.

Food Safety

Every child is at risk for choking, but children under the age of 4 years are more likely to choke because they have narrow throats and airways, cannot chew very well due to lack of teeth, and they often put things in their mouths.

Knowing about choking risks and safety tips can help prevent choking. The link below shows foods that are choking risks and foods to avoid for children under the age of 1. Follow these guidelines to help keep your children safe:

Prepare Safe Foods:

  • Cut foods into small pieces no larger than ½ inch
  • Cut meat across the grain into thin small pieces
  • Offer soft cooked chicken, fish, beef, or turkey that is easy to chew
  • Slice grapes, cherry tomatoes, and other round foods into 2 or 4 small pieces
  • Cook carrot sticks or broccoli pieces until slightly soft
  • Grate raw vegetables
  • Spread peanut butter thinly on bread, crackers, or tortillas
  • Do not let your child eat a glob of peanut butter on a spoon

Eat Safe:

  • Have your child sit down while eating at the table
  • Do not let your child run, walk, play, or lie down while eating
  • Stay with your child while eating
  • Watch your child while eating
  • Keep unsafe foods out of reach
  • Teach your child to chew food well before swallowing
  • Learn how to help a child who is choking by taking CPR/First Aid classes in the community

Pregnant women need to be careful about food safety. According to the CDC, 48 million persons get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from illness caused by food in the United States each year. Pregnant women and their unborn children have a higher risk of developing certain foodborne illnesses because their ability to fight off infection is lower when pregnant. Use the links below for foods that should be avoided during pregnancy and safe cooking tips.

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/UCM312787.pdf

http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/choking-hazard-safety


Car Seat Safety

Each year, thousands of young children are killed or injured in car crashes. In fact, the CDC reports motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for American Indians aged 1–44. On average, 2 American Indians are killed every day in motor vehicle crashes.  American Indians are injured or killed in motor vehicle crashes at much higher rates than other Americans and have lower use rates of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts.

Proper use of car seats helps keep children safe. With so many different styles and seats available, it may be hard to tell which one is the right one. The type of seat your child needs depends on several things, including your child’s age and size and the type of vehicle you have. Read the links below for information on selecting the correct seat for your child and other car seat safety tips.  You may be able to get a free car seat in your area. Ask your local fire or police departments about free car seats in your area.

http://www.safekids.org/

http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/newtsm/cpsweek2014/NHTSA-2014-CPSWeek-

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/Pages/Car-Safety-Seats-Information-for-Families.aspx

National Safety Month Infographic

Dental Awareness Month

April 2016

Taking good care of your teeth is not just about having a nice smile and pleasant breath.  A healthy mouth may help you ward off medical conditions.

Tooth decay is a significant health problem for American Indians.  In 2014, more than 2.4 million American Indians lived in counties with dental care shortage areas, and half of all American Indian children lived in a shortage area. In fact, preschool-aged American Indian children had four times more cases of untreated tooth decay than white children—43 percent compared with 11 percent. Studies show that it appears the prevalence of dental disease among American Indians is increasing. Read on to learn more about how poor dental health can affect your overall health.

Poorly Controlled Diabetes: If you have diabetes, you’re already at increased risk of developing gum disease. But chronic gum disease may, in fact, make diabetes more difficult to control. An infection may cause insulin resistance, which affects blood sugar control.

Cardiovascular Disease: Oral inflammation due to bacteria, also called gingivitis, may also play a role in clogged arteries and blood clots. It appears that bacteria in the mouth may cause inflammation throughout the body, including the arteries. This inflammation may cause buildup of plaques in the arteries, possibly increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Preterm Birth: Severe gum disease may increase the risk of preterm delivery and giving birth to a low birth weight baby. Research estimates  that as many as 18 percent of preterm, low birth weight babies born in the U.S. each year may be attributed to oral infections. They suspect oral bacteria release toxins, which reach the placenta through the mother’s bloodstream and interfere with the growth and development of the fetus.

Nutrition: Sensitivity in the mouth or pain while eating caused by dental problems can affect the foods we chose to eat. This can result in elimination of entire food groups which can greatly affect our health. Be sure to talk to your dentist about any pain or sensitivity in your mouth during your routine checkups.

Start taking care of your oral health early on in life because you’re making an investment in your overall health, not just for now, but for the future, too. See the information below to find steps to care for your mouth in all stages of life.

Dental Awareness Month Infographic

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/

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