Children's Health Month - October 2003
October is Children's Health Month to recognize the importance of protecting the health and well-being of America's children and adolescents. Children's health topics cover a wide spectrum of issues, from more commonly recognized concerns such as childhood illnesses and immunizations, to safety at home and in the community, and preventing smoking and drug use. Physical fitness and good nutrition are areas of children's health receiving increased attention. About 15 percent of American children are overweight, and less than 20 percent eat the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. For many people, eating habits established during childhood continue into adulthood, so developing good nutrition habits at an early age is essential. As Children's Health Month is observed in October, GovBenefits.gov is highlighting some of the benefit programs available to help keep your children healthy year-round.

For more information on Children's Health Month, visit www.childrenshealth.gov. To learn more about nutrition and physical fitness for the whole family, visit www.healthierus.gov.

  • Head Start and Early Head Start

  • The Head Start program (for children ages 3-5) and Early Head Start program (for pregnant women, infants and toddlers) promote school readiness for children in low-income families by providing comprehensive educational, health, nutritional, and social services. Parents play a large role in the programs, both as primary educators of their children and as participants in administering the programs locally. Services are also available to migrant and seasonal farmworker families. Tambien hay servicios para las familias que trabajan en agricultura (trabajadores emigrantes y de temporada). For more information visit www.govbenefits.gov/govbenefits/benefits/report.jhtml?bid=616

  • School Breakfast and Lunch Programs

  • The School Breakfast and Lunch Programs make nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free meals available to school children each school day. Over 92,000 schools offer lunches at school, and nearly 70,000 schools offer breakfast at school. School breakfasts and lunches must meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and federal nutrition standards. Some schools offer afterschool snacks to children in the school's afterschool care programs. For more information visit www.govbenefits.gov/govbenefits/benefits/report.jhtml?bid=366

  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

  • The WIC Program provides supplemental foods, nutrition education and referrals to health care, at no cost, to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are determined to be at nutritional risk. To be fully eligible for the WIC Program, applicants must be determined by a health professional, at no cost, to be at nutritional risk (i.e., have certain medical-based or diet-based risk conditions). For more information visit www.govbenefits.gov/govbenefits/benefits/report.jhtml?bid=368