Nutrition and Health Promotion experts empower future moms to a healthy lifestyle

By Mr. Chul H Yang (Regional Health Command Atlantic)October 17, 2017

Nutrition and Health Promotion experts empower future moms to a healthy lifestyle
Ms. Leah Roberts, Registered Dietitian, Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center, explains better ways in making healthy choices through vegetables and fruits to Spc. Traver (left) and Sgt. Zalikowski (center). These items are usually located at the perimete... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Along with proper exercise and sleep, nutrition is also a key element in maintaining the optimal health; and the registered dietitian and health promotion coordinator at Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center (KACC) are on-point to assist Warriors, Family Members and the Fort Meade community.

For military families, a commissary is the main platform that provides most of the nutrition sources but sometimes choosing the right items to fit your nutrition goals can be challenging. To assist with this complex process, Kimbrough health experts provide commissary tours to TRICARE beneficiaries.

"The commissary tours are an opportunity to engage with individuals regarding food and nutrition goals at the very place where they will ultimately be purchasing those items," said Leah Roberts, Nutrition and Diabetes Education Specialist at KACC. "The group has the ability to walk the commissary with a registered dietitian, ask specific questions about foods and learn about selecting healthy items based on their nutrition goals."

The tours are designed to empower individuals to make healthy lifestyle changes by learning available dietary options, how to read and understand food labels, including USDA organic, Non-GMO project verified, certified gluten-free; and increase the individual's education related to shopping and planning.

"The tours can be catered for any dietary needs including special diets or specific interests," added Roberts.

Karen Bartholet, Health Promotion Coordinator, KACC, added "Tours are especially useful for individuals who may require a specialized diet however, anyone can benefit from a commissary tour."

For smart shopping, Bartholet and Roberts added that most of the healthy choices such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy/dairy alternatives, lean meats, plant-based protein sources and less processed foods are usually on the perimeter aisles of the store.

During the commissary tour, Roberts explained to future moms that creating healthy diet habits is important as moms are literally 'eating for two.' "The calcium and iron intake is vital in keeping mom and baby healthy throughout the pregnancy."

Roberts also discussed availability of individual appointments to address specific needs and keeping a food journal which can help generate nutritious food habits and eating enough calories.

Along with commissary tours and nutrition classes, KACC also provides the Pregnancy Postpartum Physical Training (P3T) Program that is designed for pregnant and postpartum service members within six months of delivery. "Nutrition during pregnancy is very important," said Bartholet. "I think participants appreciate interactive learning at the commissary as opposed to sitting in the classroom talking through the slides."

The commissary tours are available to anyone who receives care at Kimbrough and can be scheduled through an individual appointment with Nutrition and Diabetes Education and Health Promotion Coordinator.

Any TRICARE beneficiaries enrolled in the Army weight management program, individuals who may have dietary restrictions or have chronic diseases, individuals with special dietary requirements such as pregnancy, diabetes, hypertension and weight concerns are eligible to use these services.

The Pregnancy Postpartum Physical Training (P3T) Program is designed for pregnant and postpartum service members within six months of delivery and include:

• Pregnancy PT education classes: Tuesdays from 6:30-7:30 a.m. in the Preventive Medicine Conference Room, Building T-2472, 5th Street

• PRG: Aerobics Room: Wednesdays and Fridays, MFH

• Post-Partum (PP): Aerobics room: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, MFH

• PRG: Pool PT: Mondays, GFC

• PRG: Fetal Development, Tuesdays

To inquire about commissary tours and Pregnancy Postpartum PT program, please contact KACC nutrition clinic at (301) 677-8457; Health Promotion Coordinator at (301) 677-8993.