September Be Well

Sports Physicals

Classes are back in session and that means it’s time for school sports. Fall is the season for soccer, tennis, gymnastics, and many other team activities. These sports programs are a great way for kids to get the exercise their growing bodies need. If your son or daughter wants to join a team, their school will probably ask you to get them a physical checkup. But don’t worry, these sports physicals come at no cost for members of Community Health Plan of Washington. We’re happy to help your child get in the game!

Just call your health center to schedule an appointment. You can even take care of your child’s regular annual checkup at the same time. We hope you and your kids have a fun and active fall!

Scared of Shots

A new school year brings lots to look forward to. Kids will learn new things and make new friends. They can try a new sport or join a club.

Starting school also means getting booster shots.

School shots are important. They keep dangerous diseases, like mumps or whooping cough, from spreading. Ask your doctor or school which shots your kids need, or click here to check the Department of Health website.

For some kids, shots can be scary, but there are ways for you to help your child stay calm.

You can help relax your child when it’s time to get their shots. Babies need to nap and eat before their doctor visit. Cuddle them after or give them a toy. Tell younger kids about the visit on the day you go. Don’t use scary words like “shot” or “hurt.” Let older kids ask you questions. Help them breathe slowly while they get their shot. Make sure that you stay calm too!

Read about more ways to make school shots not so scary here.

Fast Food Swap Out

We get it, fast food tastes really good. It’s also available almost everywhere, so it’s really easy not to pack a lunch. But making your own food is almost always cheaper and healthier. Plus it keeps that post fast food slump away. If you want the flavors of your favorite take out, try these recipe ideas:

If you love cheeseburgers, you should pack…

A Black Bean Bowl.

Black beans are loaded with protein and are filling like a burger. Add rice, peppers, cheese, onion, lettuce, and tomato for that burger taste.

If you love pizza, you should pack…

Creamy Tomato Soup and Crackers.

Creamy tomato soup is a filling midday meal and easy to make. It’s rich and salty with Italian flavors, but without the grease.

If you love nachos, you should pack…

Tortilla Soup.

The best parts of nachos are the toppings. Add small amounts of cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, and tortilla chips to the warm, rich, and healthy soup.

If you love teriyaki, you should pack…

Pineapple Chicken Stir-fry.

Adding pineapple to a home-made chicken stir fry hits those sticky sweet teriyaki flavors. But instead of just sugar, you get the vitamins and minerals of fruit.

If you love big sub sandwiches, you should pack…

Italian chopped salad.

A chopped salad is a tasty combination of tomatoes, onions, salami, chicken breast, olives, chickpeas, cheese, and lettuce. Mix with Italian dressing and enjoy! If you get away from eating fast food every day, you’ll feel better, have more energy, and save money. Then you can treat yourself from time to time, because we all know there’s no substitute for a scoop of ice cream!

Need more healthy and cheap recipe ideas? Check out this free cookbook from Country Doctor Community Health Centers.

Back-to-School Resources

Every parent wants their child to do well in school, but kids need support if they’re going to succeed. They should start the school year with a full set of classroom supplies. They should have good food every day to keep them focused, alert, and healthy. As a parent, though, you know that backpacks, notebooks, and balanced meals aren’t cheap.

Luckily, there are resources out there to help. Washington State has school-based lunch and breakfast programs for low income families. You can read more about it here. Call your child’s school to sign up. There is also a program to help the whole family get healthy meals, called SNAP. Click here to read more about SNAP and sign up.

Washington has lots of local groups that help parents fill their kids’ backpacks. Click here to find one near you. They can help you with pens, pencils, notebooks, and more.