Nurturing Foundations

Nurturing Foundations

Supporting Health from Pregnancy Through A Child’s First Two Years

The Nurturing Foundations webinar series is designed to promote health from pregnancy through the first two years of a child’s life, raise awareness of existing disparities in maternal health, and provide education on maternal health to address these issues. This free online series is intended for outreach professionals, community health workers, health care providers, and public members interested in prenatal, postpartum, and early childhood health.

This series is presented by the University of Illinois Extension’s Integrated Health Disparities team in collaboration with Carle Illinois College of Medicine.

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Nurturing Foundations Program Topics

Pregnant woman holding an apple

Eating Healthy During Pregnancy: What To Do When Eating for Two 

Excessive gestational weight gain can have health implications for both the pregnant person and baby now and in the future. Learn the essentials to support a healthy and nutritious diet for individuals during pregnancy.

Pregnant woman talking with a carestaff

Disparities in Maternal Care: Good Care for All During Pregnancy

The United States has one of the highest maternal mortality rates among developed countries. High maternal mortality rates can be attributed to minority populations experiencing disparities in healthcare quality for maternal health services. Discover how to expand access to high-quality healthcare services to reduce disparities.

Mom holding a baby

Breastfeeding in the First Six Months: Myths, Benefits, and Barriers

Only one in five infants are exclusively breastfed for the first six months. Breast milk is essential for adequate brain, physical, and immune system development. Any liquids or foods other than breastmilk or formula before six months of age can increase a baby’s risk of illness and even impact their future health. Learn about the myths, benefits, and barriers of breastfeeding during the first six months of infancy.

Pregnant woman holding a wallet with money

Responsive Care: Supporting Caregivers As They Care for Their Baby or Toddler 

Less than half of U.S. parents receive paid leave to care for their newborns. Lack of adequate paid leave increases the risk of adverse health effects for infants and caregivers. Parental leave is essential for proper infant care and nourishment. Explore the benefits of supporting caregivers through adequate parental leave.

Baby hand holding a spoon

How Soon Is Too Soon for Solid Foods? The Right Foods Introduced to Babies at the Right Time

Nearly 40% of babies start solid foods too early. Starting solid foods too early or too late can impact your baby's health and growth. Learn when to introduce foods to babies and which foods to start with.

A woman giving food to 2 children to try

Guiding Little Palates to Healthy Eating: A Healthy and Nutritious Diet for Babies and Toddlers

Babies and toddlers can be picky, but a nutritious diet impacts their health and development and can shape their eating habits for the future. Explore the nutrition guidelines for babies and toddlers and practical tips for dealing with picky eaters.

A child drinking water

The Importance of Water: Quenching Toddlers’ Thirst Healthily

Over half of toddlers consume at least one sugar-sweetened beverage daily. Drinking juice, sports drinks, soda, or other sweetened beverages increases a toddler’s calorie consumption without providing the essential nutrients they need. It puts them at risk for tooth decay and obesity. Learn what toddlers should drink to support a nutritious diet and healthy growth.

A child reading a book and eating an apple

Nutrition Guidelines for Babies and Toddlers: Decoding Mixed Messages About How To Feed Young Children

Over half of parents receive mixed messages about what to feed their young children. That can be confusing! It is essential to provide parents and caregivers with the right nutritional information. Explore in this webinar helpful guidelines on nutrition for young children.

A hand holding a small super market cart

Putting Healthy Food on the Table: Addressing Food Access Challenges for Families With Young Children

One in five young children lives in a household that struggles to put enough nutritious food on the table. Access to nutritious foods is the foundation of promoting a healthy diet for young children. In this session, we will discuss the challenges associated with accessibility and how it can affect children's health.

Parents seeing their child walking

Social Investment in Every Child: Securing the Future and Well-Being of All Babies and Toddlers

Over 25% of infants and toddlers live in poverty. Society must invest in the well-being of every baby and toddler today to secure a healthy future. Discover the role we all play in investing in the health of all children and how to help improve their future.