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Fair Offers Healthy Resources to Families

Event featured info on nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes to military and civilian families

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POSTED: August 10, 2014 2:00 p.m.
Photos by Samantha B. Koss/

Families learn about healthy lifestyle habits at the Winn Army Community Hospital booth July 24 at the community activities, information, registration and back-to-school fair at the Newman Fitness Center.

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Fort Stewart hosted an activities, information, registration and back-to-school fair July 24 to give military families and community members health-related information and free school supplies.
Families traveled from booth to booth at the Newman Fitness Center, collecting pamphlets about healthy lifestyle changes, nutrition and wholesome activities available on Fort Stewart and in Liberty County.
As families crossed the gymnasium, they also collected stamps at each booth, which they used to receive free school supplies. The stamps ensured families’ participation in the informational booths before heading straight to the free supplies.
“We want folks to know about all the healthy resources available to them and that we are here to help,” said nurse practitioner Sandra Durrence, who works at Winn Army Community Hospital.
The Winn information booth offered tips on physical activity, smoking cessation and healthy eating.
“We tell parents not to give up on trying healthy foods with their children,” she said. “It takes several attempts of trying a new food for their taste buds to adapt to the new food.”
Durrence recommends that parents keep offering new foods and prepare them in a variety of ways for children to accept the healthy foods. If children reject the new dishes the first time, though, parents should not give up.
“We also tell parents to monitor their children’s sugary drinks and to make most of their beverages water or low-fat milk,” she added. “Also, keep healthy snacks available for the children to grab instead of turning to unhealthy alternatives.”
Snacks like fruit and nuts are recommended as healthy alternatives to cookies or candy. Raw vegetables and healthy dips also are popular among children and provide plenty of nutrients.
“Mainly, you want to have healthy foods easily available, and make them in finger-size pieces so they can eat with their hands,” Durrence said. “This will help improve children’s eating habits.”
Winn hospital also is expanding its six-week healthy-habit program outside the gates to Liberty County. This program assists families and groups in improving their diet, physical activity and sleep. The program offers classes for children and analyses on body fat, weight and body-mass index for groups and individuals.
“This program is now available to the community,” Durrence said. “It is important for everyone to focus on building healthy lifestyle habits.”
For more information about the hospital and its programs, go to www.winn.amedd.army.mil.
After families collected their stamps from the Winn booth, they headed down the line to a small, relatively unknown company booth with several resources to offer.
“Not many people know about us,” said Megan Latter, the independent living coordinator for Living Independence for Everyone Inc. “So, we are trying to build more awareness in the area on all we have to offer.”
Living Independence for Everyone helps individuals with disabilities be as independent as possible. It is a free program for people with disabilities — from the slightest disabilities to severe handicaps. The program has been in operation for over 15 years and has nine centers throughout Georgia.
“We want them to know that they are not alone,” Latter said. “We offer many resources for them, like skills training, home modifications and assisted technology centers.”
The company has its own contractors who can assist program members in building home modifications like ramps and other helpful amenities.
Additionally, it offers support groups for members to share their experiences with each other.
“We can also work with children by helping them with their homework or teaching them how to brush their teeth without Mommy or Daddy’s help,” Latter said. “We also work with adults by helping them budget their money or make a resume. … There are so many resources for them.”
For more information about Living Independence for Everyone, go to www.lifecil.com or email mlatter@lifecil.com.

 

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