How we can help families move from hardship to health

One of the most remarkable things about pediatric medicine is the simple fact that most of the time, sick kids get better. I’ll admit – few things are as terrifying as being a new parent and having your toddler admitted to the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit for an acute asthma attack. But it’s true, […]

Bring us your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free: Caring for children of immigrants

Recently, Alex, a 10 year-old boy in my pediatric practice, was in the office complaining of a stomachache. I asked the usual questions: When did it start? Did it happen at certain times or in response to particular foods? Were there any other gastrointestinal changes? What made it better or worse? Many questions later, I […]

Hidden Food Stress in the United States

A family sits around a table enjoying dinner. There is enough food tonight so that everyone in the household will go to bed well-fed, but the mother lies awake wondering how she will afford next week’s groceries. This experience of stress is hidden to those around her. She knows that her children need nutritious foods […]

What if… the United States decided to proactively alleviate food insecurity?

What if… the Unites States decided to proactively alleviate food insecurity? Finally, after years of sluggish, uncertain growth following the Great Recession, the United States economy appears to have surged in 2015. Two recently released annual reports from the USDA on household food security and the Census Bureau on income, poverty and health insurance tell […]

20 Years of TANF: Innovations Needed to Improve Health

Twenty years ago Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed into law an act to “end welfare as we know it”. This act replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with the current program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), thereby converting the program to a block grant and implementing stringent work requirements and […]

What If… addressing food insecurity two generations at a time

For many of us, summer conjures images of time spent with family and friends, barbeques, and picnics in the park. Unfortunately, in nearly 20% of households with children under the age of 6, food is not something taken for granted. Food insecurity or the inability of households to afford enough food for all members is […]

Keeping Science at the Center of Nutrition Policy

Every five years Congress reauthorizes the Child Nutrition Act, which is designed to meet the nutritional needs of children from the prenatal period through adolescence. The Act includes the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), the National School Lunch and National School Breakfast […]

Investing today in affordable family housing for a stronger workforce tomorrow

As a real estate developer, I know housing matters for a variety of outcomes, but continue to be surprised by how strong the impact of housing is on child health. I have learned over the years through  the work of Children’s HealthWatch, about the strong link, not just with child health but also with family […]

Food is Medicine: For best results, follow dosing instructions

Food is medicine. You have likely heard that phrase before. It reminds us that what we nourish ourselves with is as important as most medicines we might take. But what if we can’t afford enough healthful food? That’s where the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) comes in – SNAP is like a medicine, helping to […]

Baby, it’s cold outside…and inside, it isn’t much better

For many children and families across the nation, snow and cold weather signal joyous memories of missed school days to go sledding and drink hot cocoa. However, for low income and poor families, the cold signals something more serious: the impending challenge to adequately and affordably warm their homes without sacrificing other necessities, such as […]