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Health E-Advice

September 18th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

Need instant nutrition information?  E-nutrition advice is just a few mouse clicks away.  How do you know what is trustworthy when search engines list legitimate and less reliable sites side-by-side? 

Media savvy doesn’t apply just to magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, and books.  Exercise the same healthy skepticism you would with any resource.  To judge nutrition cyber-advice: 

  • Identify the website sponsor and the sites it links to.  Suffixes offer a clue to the source:  .org (associations), .edu (educational institutions), .gov (government), .com (commercial).  To appear credible, any website may hyperlink to expert sites.  Commercial (.com) sites, with a marketing focusing, may—or may not—offer credible information to educate consumers. 
  • Check for updates.  Reliable sources are updated frequently.

(Less reliable sources may be too.) 

  • Ask for an expert critique.  A registered dietitian (RD) or dietetic technician, registered (DTR) can give you a science-based perspective.  
  • Determine the website’s main objective; is it education or primarily advertising? 

To findscience-based online advicequickly, use a gateway, linked to many responsible organizations and websites. 

  • U.S. Government:  and
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

    Brought to you by the Healthy Eating and Active Living Coalition of Pierce County Source:  365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association (Wiley 2004), Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS

Bag It!

August 27th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

Imagine your alarm goes off.  You stretch, then race to get ready for the day.  How will you pack your family’s lunches?

 During back-to-school, back-to-work season, get creative with healthful pack and go lunches. 

  • Hand-y.  Finger foods are easy to eat:  sandwiches, wraps, pita pockets.  Go beyond sandwiches:  string cheese or hummus with veggie sticks.
  • Crunch in your lunch.  Tuck in crisp raw vegetables (peppers, celery, carrots, zucchini, broccoli), fresh fruit (tangerine, apple, grapes, pear), whole-grain foods (crackers, popcorn, pretzels), and nuts.
  • Add some fun:  baked chips, oatmeal cookies, trail mix.
  • Heaviest on bottom:  Pack juice, whole fruit, yogurt, pudding cups, and other heavy items on the bottom so they don’t crush the other foods.
  • Chill out.  Use an insulated bag with cold packs to keep food cold and safe.  Freeze juice or bottled water for double duty:  chilling and drinking.  (No need to rely on vending machine soda.)
  • Surprise!  For kids, tuck a puzzle, cartoon, or note inside, to say you care.

     Brought to you by the Healthy Eating and Active Living Coalition of Pierce County Source:  365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association (Wiley 2004), Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS

Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life!

August 1st, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

World Breastfeeding Week will be celebrated worldwide 1-7 August 2014.  Infant feeding is one of the most important decisions a family can make.   Research shows that babies who receive only breastmilk for the first six months of life are healthier.  Mothers benefit from breastfeeding with a decreased risk for breast and ovarian cancers.

To reach breastfeeding goals, mothers need a team of helpers and healthcare professionals to support them.  So how does WIC support and encourage the breastfeeding mom?  During pregnancy, moms receive breastfeeding education.  WIC provides nutritious foods during pregnancy and after the birth of her child.  Pierce County WIC also has a Peer Breastfeeding Program.  Peers are ‘moms helping moms’.  They have personal experience with breastfeeding and receive training to support other moms during pregnancy and after delivery.

When mothers are able to reach their breastfeeding goals, they contribute to a healthier Pierce County!

Think Summer; Think Melon

July 21st, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

Imagine:  a blistering hot day with a slice of sweet, juicy watermelon—or an icy, thick smoothie made with fragrant cantaloupe or honeydew melon!

Melons are treasure troves—with more health-promoting benefits than simply water in the melon.  Known for their beta carotene and vitamin C, melons have vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, and thiamin, as well as fiber.  Watermelon also has plenty of cancer-fighting lycopene.

For fresh quality and best flavor, pick a watermelon heavy for its size, with a dry, brown stem.  Thump it; the low-pitched sound suggests full, juicy flavor, pick cantaloupe with a fragrant perfume, netting on the rind, and a few tiny cracks near the stem.

Make your day “summer perfect” with melon!

Brought to you by the Healthy Eating and Active Living Coalition of Pierce County Source:  365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association (Wiley 2004), Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS

Pack a Healthful Picnic

June 23rd, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

What’s for tonight’s dinner?  Why not pack a picnic cooler before work, so it’s ready to go when you are.

 * Keep  clean.  Bring hand wipes or sanitizer, a clean tablecloth, and separate utensils for preparing and for eating.

* Keep cold food cold.  If perishable (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, mayonnaise), keep your food in a chilled cooler.  Don’t store your cooler in a hot car.

* Keep bug free.  Put food in well-sealed containers.

 This summer, remember to make your picnic simple, safe, and savory.

 * Go vegetarian:  a hearty salad (beans, cooked rice or pasta, and chopped vegetables, tossed with herb vinaigrette), peach or mango, and breadsticks.

* Keep it easy:  several cheeses, hearty whole-grain bread, grapes and berries, zucchini sticks, and calamata olives.

* Toss it there:  canned tuna, canned pineapple chunks or mandarin oranges, chopped bell pepper, banana slices, toasted almonds, chives, and low-fat mayonnaise (a small jar, unopened) served on fresh greens.  (Tip:  Remember the can opener.)

* Remember drinks:  juice or water, perhaps frozen ahead to stay cold as they melt.

 Brought to you by the Healthy Eating and Active Living Coalition of Pierce County Source:  365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association (Wiley 2004), Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS


June 13th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

The Pierce County Public Health Department has recently been notified that it will receive a grant award from United Way St. Croix Valley. This marks the eighth year these grant dollars have been received for use toward the Families First (FF) program. As in the past, this money will help support and sustain the FF program which is a continuation of the Prenatal Care Coordination (PNCC) program. Public Health Nurses schedule up to four supportive parenting visits with families previously enrolled in PNCC, beginning within two weeks of birth, and continuing until the baby is six to nine months old. The baby is assessed for growth and development, the mother’s recovery from childbirth is reviewed, reading-level-appropriate education material is provided, and concerns are addressed at each visit. Additionally, referrals to community resources are made as appropriate. Each visit is meant to support the parent in their new role, teach positive parent-baby interactions, provide resources and information (e.g., growth, development, feeding, immunizations, safety, etc.) for the parent, and address any parental concerns.

United Way St. Croix Valley serves the residents of Pierce, St. Croix, Burnett, and Washburn Counties. For further information on United Way please go to and for information on Pierce County Public Health services visit, select Public Health Department or call (715) 273-6755.

New Location for the River Falls Public Health/Reproductive Health Office

June 5th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

The Pierce County Public Health Department is pleased to announce that the River Falls office has moved to a new location at 1234 South Wasson Lane.  The new office is handicap-accessible, features an exam room and three private offices to provide confidential counseling and health care.

The River Falls office primarily offers confidential reproductive health services including:  providing education and supplies of all FDA-approved contraceptive methods, pregnancy testing with options counseling, physical exams for men and women (including cervical cancer screening for women), STI testing/treatment, and HIV counseling and testing.  Staff is available to help clients enroll into Family Planning Only Services (FPOS), an income-based program offered by the State of Wisconsin to help men and women with their family planning care and needs.   Immediate or “same day” coverage for FPOS may be available for those who qualify.   Pierce County has been providing family planning services since the early 1980’s.  To schedule an appointment or for more information, please call the River Falls office at 715-425-8003.

Other services offered at the new River Falls office include immunizations, WIC and Prenatal Care Coordination.  Please call 715-273-6755 for more information.

Active? Drink Enough?

May 21st, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

Imagine you’ve just had a great workout.  You’re really sweating!  Are you drinking enough to stay well hydrated?  Dehydration often starts with flushed skin, fatigue, increased body temperature, and faster breathing and pulse rates.  From there, you might feel the early signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke:  dizziness, weakness, harder breathing.

To keep properly hydrated, drink plenty of water before, during, and after physical activity, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

  • 2 hours before:   2 cups
  • 15 minutes ahead:   1 to 2 cups
  • Every 15 minutes while you’re active:  ½ to 1 cup
  • After you’re active:  3 cups for each pound of weight you lose while you’re active


To make sure you drink enough:

  • Carry a water bottle.  Or know where a water fountain or station is.  (A medium mouthful is not much, just about 1 ounce; 8 ounces is a cup.)
  • Weigh yourself before and after a heavy workout.  That way you’ll know how much fluid you need to replace.
  • Check your urine.  If it’s light and clear (lemon juice color), you’re likely drinking enough.  If it’s darker (apple juice color), you’re dehydrated.

 Brought to you by the Healthy Eating and Active Living Coalition of Pierce County Source:  365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association (Wiley 2004), Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS


Do a Salad Makeover

April 23rd, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

Tired of the same old garden salad for dinner?  National Salad Month is the perfect time for a salad makeover.  A variety of vegetables and fruits add different nutrients, health-promoting phytonutrients, flavor, and appeal to your meals.

Salad making has no rules except:  Use high-quality ingredients, clean fresh ingredients, and toss (if it’s a garden salad) just before serving.  Go easy with high-fat dressing.

Add more health-promoting benefits—and interest—to your salad today.

Mix your greens: spinach, Romaine, red leaf, watercress.  The deeper the color, the more carotenoids and health-promoting benefits.

  • Brighten with color: tomato, broccoli florets, shredded carrots, green or red pepper, beets, even edible flowers.
  • Sweeten up: mandarin orange segments, sliced strawberries, chopped apples, dried fruit.
  • Make it heartier: sliced or chopped low-fat cheese, lean meat or turkey, tuna,  shrimp, tofu, canned legumes (rinsed and drained), cooked pasta, rice, or bulgur.
  • Add crunch: croutons, almonds, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts, walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds
  • Herb it: tarragon, chives, parsley, cilantro, marjoram, even mint.
  • Dress light, dress well: spoon on just one or two tablespoons, not a ladleful of dressing.



Brought to you by the Healthy Eating and Active Living Coalition of Pierce County Source:  365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association (Wiley 2004), Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS


April 7th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

This week, in celebration of National Public Health Week 2014, we will offer tips on where to start when considering the role of public health at home on our Facebook page. Today’s tip: Be healthy from the start. The first steps in creating a healthier community take place at home through nutrition, maternal health, and emergency preparedness.  Learn more and participate in National Public Health Week at  Check out the Pierce County Public Health Facebook page for daily tips all week.

Did you know?

  • Breastfeeding is recommended for at least the first year of a child’s life, and exclusively for the first 6 months. Longer lifetime durations of breastfeeding are associated with decreased risks of maternal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, longer durations of breastfeeding are associated with decreased risk of many common childhood infections and sudden infant death syndrome, as well as chronic conditions in offspring such as obesity, Type 1 diabetes, and leukemia.
  • Prenatal care can help keep mothers and their babies healthy. Babies of mothers who do not get prenatal care are three times more likely to have a low birth weight and five times more likely to die than those born to mothers who do get care.
  • Globally, an estimated 43 million preschool children were overweight or obese in 2010, a 60 percent increase since 1990. And children’s early-life experiences, such as lack of breast feeding, too-little sleep and too-much television can increase the risk of obesity later in life. That’s why early child care providers have such a crucial role to play in turning around the obesity epidemic.
  • Nearly one-third of all students in the United States do not graduate from high school on time. It’s a destructive cycle: Students who don’t graduate face lifelong health risks and high medical costs, and they are more likely to engage in risky health behaviors. They are less likely to be employed and insured, and they earn less — all of which continues the cycle of poverty and disparities.