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Nutrition and Physical Activity:

Common Questions

MO-07-0089 NUPA

Why do families need iron to prevent anemia?

To stay strong and healthy, the body needs iron. When you do not have enough iron in your blood, your body does not get the oxygen it needs to be healthy.  Most people who are “anemic” have Iron Deficiency Anemia. Anemia can make you or your child look pale, feel tired and weak, act cranky, get sick more easily, get infections, develop lead poisoning and headaches, eat poorly, and have trouble learning.  If you are pregnant, your baby could be born too small or too soon.  To find out more about foods to prevent anemia, what to do if iron pills make you feel bad, and tips to prevent iron deficiency anemia, see our pamphlet You Can Prevent Iron Deficiency Anemia, English (PDF)Opens a new browser window..

What is folic acid and why do I need it?  When is folic acid important for me? How much folic acid do I need and how can my family and I get enough folic acid every day?

Folic acid is a B-vitamin the body needs every day to be healthy. If you become pregnant, Folic Acid lowers your chances of having a baby with serious birth defects, including those of the brain or spinal cord.  Folic acid is good for all women, even if they don’t plan on getting pregnant. It is especially important to take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily before you get pregnant and during the first months of pregnancy. There are two ways to get the folic acid your body needs every day: Eat one serving of a cereal that has all the folic acid you need every day (read the label to see if it has 100% or the Recommended Daily Allowance or RDA). OR Take a vitamin pill that has all the folic acid you need every day. For more information about folic acid, call the March of Dimes, 1-888-663-4637, go to their website or read more information at Folic Acid Resources.

How can families with young children from 0 to 5 years of age prevent tooth decay?

Germs are the main cause of tooth decay. Tips in the pamphlet, Stop the Spread of Tooth Decay, English (PDF)Opens a new browser window....Spanish will help. Tips include how to take care of your teeth, what sugarless gum can prevent decay, and how to eat right to keep strong teeth.

How can teens eat better to stay healthy?

To stay healthy, it is important to eat the right foods and drink plenty of fluids.  Using  Easy Meals and Snacks:  A Healthy Cookbook for Teens, teens will find that cooking at home can be fun, quick, and a lot less expensive than eating out.

Last modified on: 8/18/2011 3:32 PM