Flu shots available!

Fall is around the corner and with that comes flu season. The Southern Nevada Health District will begin to offer seasonal flu vaccine to the public at 8 a.m., Monday, Oct. 1 at its new location at 330 S. Valley View Blvd (near the Meadows Mall and Springs Preserve). Valley View clinic hours are 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. Flu shots are $28 and the high-dose shot for people 65 and older is $56.  For more information, contact the health district’s immunization clinic at (702) 759-0850 or visit www.SNHD.info.

It is recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older get a yearly flu vaccination and there are ample supplies of influenza vaccine available this season. The health district encourages everyone to get flu vaccinations, especially persons at high-risk of complications from the flu including children younger than 5 (children younger than 2 years old are at highest risk), adults 65 years of age and older, and pregnant women. We want everyone to stay as healthy as possible this season!

Immunizations are also available at the following health district locations:

Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
•East Las Vegas Public Health Center, 560 N. Nellis Blvd., Ste. E12, Las Vegas, Nev.
•Henderson Public Health Center, 520 E. Lake Mead Parkway, Henderson, Nev.

Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. CLOSED for lunch from noon to 1 p.m.
•Mesquite Public Health Center, 830 Hafen Lane, Mesquite, Nev.

Methods of payment for flu vaccine include Medicare Part B, Medicare Railroad Part B, Medicaid, Nevada Medicaid and Check-Up, Amerigroup Community Care Medicaid and Check-Up, or cash (checks are not accepted). Clients must present their Medicare insurance card or Medicaid voucher at the time of service.

We will be blogging in the weeks to come about how to avoid getting the flu and ways to keep your home and office healthy. Step one is a flu shot! Come get your shot at the health district or go to many of the other places offering this service like your local pharmacy or doctor’s office.

Ditch the Salt but Keep the Flavor

Cutting back on the salt in your diet is one way to help control blood pressure. Many people consume much more salt that their bodies need. On average at least 12 times as much, according the American heart association. Most of the food we buy is loaded with salt and we are used to salty flavors. It is possible to shake the salt habit without feeling derived. Here’s how:
-Limit processed foods, which are usually high in sodium. Eat for more fruits and vegetables and other low-sodium food instead.
-Drain and rinse canned vegetables before preparing them. They’ll keep a little of their salty flavor but they won’t be swimming in salt juice and you’ll rinse away about a third of the sodium.
-Try foods that are labeled low sodium. Many grocery stores offer such product and may even have a special section in their store for low sodium options. Just remember you can add salt to food but you can’t take it away. This way you can control the sodium level in your food.
-Season vegetables and meat with lemon juice and other salt free seasonings such as vinegar and herbs.
-Snack on lightly salted popcorn, pretzels and nuts such as “no-salt-added’ peanuts.

Family Meal Time

The family dinner hour is an important part of healthy living. When families dine together, they tend to eat more vegetables and fruits — and fewer fried foods, soda, and other unhealthy foods. When younger kids frequently eat dinner with their families, they are less likely to be overweight than other children.

It’s a serious concern, approximately 12.5 million children and adolescents aged 2-19 (17%) are obese in the U.S. That puts them at higher risk for many health problems later in life, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes — as well as emotional problems.

Benefits of Family Dinners

•Everyone eats healthier meals
•Children are less likely to become overweight or obese
•Children are less likely to drink alcohol, do drugs or smoke
•Improved academic performance
•Improved family communication

Time is a big challenge for most families, but even the busiest families can find time to eat together.

•Set a goal. You don’t have to eat every meal together, start with twice a week and build from there.
•Keep it simple. You don’t have to make a four-course meal every night. Making a veggie pizza or heating up leftovers counts! Add a salad or side of fruit for a complete meal.
•Be prepared. Keep ingredients for healthful meals on hand, including plenty of fruits and vegetables.
•Plan ahead. Try to anticipate work, school and other activities that may affect meal time and work around them.
•Make it a family affair. Get everyone involved in the preparation of the meal. Young children can stir, and older children can make a salad or set the table.
•Use the crock pot. Put everything together before leaving for work in the morning. You’ll come home to the delicious smell of a cooked meal.
•Be flexible. Be flexible about when and where you eat. Try a picnic lunch in your backyard, or on the living room floor, or breakfast for dinner.
•Make it enjoyable. Leave the serious discussions for another time. Family meals are for nourishment, comfort, and support.
•Turn off the TV. This is time for listening to each other, sharing the day’s stories, not watching TV, or talking/texting on the phone.

Nursing your sweet tooth!
Soda Free Summer 2012 Complete!

Congrats to everyone who participated with us in the Soda Free Summer Challenge! We hope this challenge helped everyone ‘re-think what you drink’ and realize that it really does matter. The amount of calories we consume through soda really adds up and can help lead to overweight or obesity. The benefits to our teeth and health all make it worth it to kick the fizzy habit. Big changes happen one step at a time and eliminating or cutting back on soda is one simple way to better your health and lose weight. Life without the fizzy stuff is possible, so keep up the challenge!