4 Easy Back-To-School Lunches

August 22, 2017

photo: Buzzfeed Tasty Jr.

These easy lunch ideas are perfect for back-to-school. They’re fast, easy, and above all kid-approved!

For an even smoother morning, prep your child’s lunch the night before so that you can grab their lunch and go!

Crust-Free Nut Butter & Jam Sandwiches


2 slices whole wheat bread

1 tablespoon nut butter of choice

1 tablespoon fruit jam of choice



1 water bottle, frozen


  1. Cut the crust off of the bread and separate the pieces.
  2. Spread the nut butter on both sides of the bread, followed by the jam.
  3. Put the pieces of bread together and pinch all along the sides with your fingers, and then press the seam with a fork to make a seal.
  4. Place in bento box followed by carrots, and blueberries.
  5. Pack bento box in a lunch box with a frozen water bottle to keep everything cold.
  6. Enjoy!


Turkey & Cream Cheese Pinwheels

Servings: 1


2 slices whole wheat bread

2 tablespoons cream cheese

2 leaves lettuce

4 slices turkey breast deli meat

Cherry tomatoes

¼ cup wheat cereal

¼ cup pretzel sticks

¼ cup chocolate candies

¼ cup raisins

1 juice box, frozen

1. Spread 1 tablespoon of cream cheese on 1 piece of bread.

  1. Place lettuce and turkey on the cream cheese and roll it up with the bread on the outside. Cut in half and place in bento box.
  2. Place cherry tomatoes in one compartment and in another add cereal, pretzels, chocolate candies, and raisins.
  3. Pack bento box in a lunch box with a frozen juice box to keep everything cold.
  4. Enjoy!


Chicken Marinara

Servings: 1


½ cup rotini pasta, cooked

¼ cup shredded rotisserie chicken

¼ cup marinara pasta sauce

1 bell pepper, sliced

1 apple

Frozen juice box


  1. Heat up rotisserie chicken and marinara sauce.
  2. Place cooked pasta in a thermos followed by hot chicken and marinara sauce.
  3. Shake to mix and place in lunch box along with sliced bell peppers.
  4. Slice an apple and reassemble slices around the core. Wrap with a rubber band to prevent browning.
  5. Pack bento box in the lunchbox with a frozen juice box and a fork.
  6. Enjoy!

Turkey, Cheddar & Crackers

Servings: 1


3 slices cheddar cheese

2 slices turkey breast deli meat

6 crackers

6 spears cucumber

1 clementine

1 water bottle, frozen


  1. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes in the cheese and turkey.
  2. Using cupcake liners to separate, place cheese, turkey and crackers in the bento box. In one of the other compartments, place the cucumber spears.
  3. Carefully, slice the skin of a clementine in two half circles on either side of the navel. Then, make 3 cuts within the inside of those half circles to make tentacles. Repeat on the other side and separate the skin from the fruit to make it look like a little octopus. Place in bento box.
  4. Pack bento box in a lunch box with a frozen water bottle to keep everything cold.
  5. Enjoy!


Recipes: https://www.buzzfeed.com/clairenolan/these-back-to-school-lunch-ideas-are-perfect-for-picky?bffbtasty&ref=bffbtasty&utm_term=.iyPpBVQj5#.fsR09DRPZ

World Breastfeeding Week

August 1, 2017

Here at NCHS, we are excited about World Breastfeeding Week because it is an excellent time to raise awareness about the benefits and beauty of breastfeeding. While it can be a taboo subject for some, mothers and mothers-to-be understand that this is an essential part of helping an infant grow in a healthy and happy way. Here we provide some information to help you understand why breastfeeding is important and a few tips to help make the experience more enjoyable for you and your little one.

How World Breastfeeding Week Began

The first time that World Breastfeeding Week was celebrated was in 1992. The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) that was established in 1991 wanted to spread the word about the support and importance of breastfeeding for both mothers and children. They were joined by WHO, WBW, and UNICEF to help organize the event that more than 120 countries participate in. Their mission is to encourage women to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months after the baby is born for the numerous nutrition and health benefits.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

For babies, breast milk is the ideal meal because of the nutritional value it provides. Between the fat, vitamins, and protein that breastfeeding offers, your infant will have everything he or she needs to grow healthy and strong. The milk is easier to digest which can help with tummy problems and the antibodies that breast milk provides help fight bacteria and viruses that infants can be exposed to.

On top of that, breastfeeding in the first six months will generally lead to fewer doctor visits due to less diarrhea, ear infections, and respiratory illness, as well as lowering the risk of asthma and severe allergies. Breastfed infants also have a lower chance of being overweight during infancy because they are always getting the right amount of milk that satisfies their growing bodies, so they are less likely to crave more.

For both the mother and baby, the connection that is created due to breastfeeding is something that is hard to duplicate. From the contact of the eyes to the feel of the skin, the bonding will help with a feeling of security for the mother and baby and can help foster a lifelong connection of love and trust.

Mothers will discover that they will burn more calories with breastfeeding and this can help take some of the baby weight off a little faster. Plus, breastfeeding lowers your risk of certain cancers as well as osteoporosis. While breastfeeding will take time out of your day, trust that it does not take as much time as making formula and getting the bottle ready, including sterilizing the nipple and warming the milk. And one of the best perks for mommies that breastfeed is that you won’t have to buy expensive formula, so you save quite a bit of money!

Tips to Make the Breastfeeding Experience Better

If you want to make your breastfeeding experience even better, take advantage of pregnancy counseling at NCHS. Here you will be guided towards the best methods for breastfeeding and how to make it more comfortable for yourself and your infant. You will gain a better understanding of pregnancy nutrition and will have experts on your side when you have questions. One of the keys to a positive breastfeeding experience is support, and we can provide just that here at NCHS.

You can also take advantage of products such as breast pumps, and when you go to pregnancy counseling, you will learn how to make pumping easier. You will also learn about the best angles to hold you baby so that you get the skin-on-skin contact that leads to better bonding and how to adjust your baby’s latch to ensure comfortable breastfeeding. Additionally, you will learn the signs that your infant is ready to eat and what to expect when breastfeeding.

If you want to learn more about World Breastfeeding Week and what your next steps should be, contact NCHS today!

World Hepatitis Day!

July 28, 2017

On Friday, July 28th, the entire world celebrates “World Hepatitis Day” as a way to draw more awareness to viral hepatitis, which is a group of infectious diseases that affect nearly 400 million people worldwide. Depending on the type and severity of the case, hepatitis can cause acute or chronic liver disease and results in the death of 1.4+ million people every year.

Viral hepatitis is one of the most dangerous diseases out there, taking 7th place as the leading cause of death in 2013 (up from 10th in 1990).

Signs, Symptoms, and Diagnosis of Hepatitis

There are different forms of viral hepatitis, and each type will have more prevalent symptoms and signs than others. However, there are some common symptoms across the different types of hepatitis that you can look for.

  • Feeling overall fatigued
  • Losing your appetite
  • Abnormal pain in your stomach
  • Vomiting and feeling nauseas
  • Running a mild fever
  • Feeling aches in your muscles and/or joints
  • Itchy feelings
  • Darker urine than usual
  • Lighter colored stools than usual
  • Yellowing of the skin (and of the whites of eyes), also known as “Jaundice”
  • Finding yourself in a daze/stupor/coma or other mental changes
  • Experiencing internal bleeding

If at any point you are noticing these signs and symptoms of hepatitis in yourself or someone you know, consult with a doctor. It’s better to get tested and to test negative than to avoid visiting the doctor when you may have hepatitis or any other medical condition.

If you do have hepatitis and don’t seek treatment, cirrhosis may develop in your body, which results in significant and severe scarring of your liver.

The sooner you or someone you know gets diagnosed, the sooner you can begin treatment. Avoiding diagnosis when you may have hepatitis is dangerous, as hepatitis is contagious and you could infect others (or someone in your family could infect you).

Treatment for Hepatitis

Each form of hepatitis requires different types of hepatitis treatment. Whether or not it’s acute or chronic can also impact the type of treatment that is required.

“Acute hepatitis” requires a significant amount of resting, ensuring that you’re consuming enough fluids, and reducing the severity of symptoms (e.g., reducing fever). We recommend consulting with your doctor before taking medication to reduce those symptoms, as some may actually react adversely with other medications or those with different liver functions.

“Chronic hepatitis” on the other hand is a little more involved, requiring medications in order to get rid of the virus and using methods recommended by your doctor to reduce or prevent future liver damage.

In both cases, medication should only be consumed if it’s a “must,” as the liver is typically not operating optimally in these points. This can result in an increased risk of elevated toxicity in the bloodstream due to medications not being fully filtered through the liver. Consumption of alcohol and smoking cigarettes should also be halted in order to avoid further aggravating the liver and liver disease.

Getting Vaccinated for Hepatitis

Vaccinations are an important part of anyone’s life, which is why it’s important that you and family members are properly vaccinated for hepatitis and other life-threatening diseases. Getting a vaccination is easy and can save your family from a world of medical complications. The CDC and other vaccination specialists have recommended vaccination schedules for both children and adults.

If you’re not vaccinated, it’s not too late – simply contact your local doctor and schedule an appointment for a vaccination to see how you can get caught up on any vaccinations you may have missed. If you have young children that haven’t been vaccinated or you’re about to have a child, make sure to consult with your doctor and ask about vaccinations for children.

To learn more about hepatitis, to schedule an appointment to be tested for hepatitis, or to seek treatment for hepatitis for yourself or someone you know, give us a call at North County Health Services. We help children with our vaccinations for children as well as adults in our health clinics. Call today to get started!



Your Filling Fell Out – Now What?

July 20, 2017

Root Canal

When you experience a filling falling out, it can be unnerving. After all, it usually happens when you least expect it, such as when you are biting into food or when decay has become an issue. However, the good news is that you do not have to panic when you lose a filling. Over time, fillings and crowns will naturally need to be replaced with new ones or they will fall out, and there are a few simple steps you can take when this happens to you.


Keep the Area Clean and Keep the Filling

When you have a cavity filling fall out, you will need to keep the area clean and you should do this gently. You can use mouthwash or water to rinse out your mouth and use your toothbrush to lightly clean the area. If you have the filling, you should keep it and give it to the dentist. They will not always be able to clean and reuse the filling, but in some cases, they will be able to.


Call a Dentist to Schedule an Appointment

Once you have cleaned and cared for the tooth that the filling fell out of, you should call and schedule an appointment with a dentist. You can ask them any detailed questions about how to care for your tooth until the appointment, but make sure you do this as soon as possible. Trust that you can find affordable dental services at North County Health Services. We can provide everything from tooth fillings and extractions to routine exams and root canals.


Use Dental Mold and a Mild Pain Reliever

If you feel pain after losing your tooth filling, then you can use a dental mold to fill in the gap until you meet with a dentist. You can also take a mild pain reliever such as Tylenol or ibuprofen to help ease the pain. However, be mindful that you are taking these as recommended, and if you plan on using a dental mold, address this when you call the dentist to make your appointment to ensure you make the right choice.


Work on Prevention So Your New Filling Last

Once you have had a tooth filling fall out, you will want to take proactive steps to ensure that it does not happen again. Plus, keeping up with your oral health is an excellent way to enjoy all of the benefits, such as a healthy smile and improved physical health. Make sure you are taking advantage of routine hygiene exams and deep cleanings and that you’re practicing the best daily practices at home, such as flossing and brushing.


Speak with a Dentist About Fillings

When you meet with your dentist and find out you need a cavity filling, then be sure you speak with him or her about the different options available. If you have any old fillings with mercury in them, then you can find out if you should get these replaced with a filling made of a different material. While you can count on most fillings to last about a decade if you start to notice signs of trouble or know that that time frame has passed, ask your dentist to check it out and see if it is time for a replacement.


Trust That the Cost Is Affordable

The cost of getting a tooth filling replaced is going to be affordable when you choose the right dentist in your area. Of course, the material you use will make a difference in the prices, as will the location of the cavity. Plus, when you get your cavity fillings completed, you will save that area from getting damaged further and causing a pain and discomfort.


If you have had a filling fall out or require a tooth extraction, you can reach out to North County Health Services (NCHS). We provide affordable dental services and are ready to help you get the oral health care that you and your family deserve. We welcome any questions and look forward to providing patients with a smile that they are proud to show off.

Health Trivia

June 29, 2017

The human body is full of surprising facts. Take our health trivia quiz to find out how much you really know!

National Safety Month

June 26, 2017

June is National Safety Month! Your health is the best gift that you can give yourself, so you should take extra care in promoting safety at home and in the workplace, as well as in preventing injuries. While things like a spinal injury cannot always be predicted, there are actions you can take that will lessen the impact on your body and help you recover with ease. Here we look at how to prevent problems like a head injury, and what to do if an accident does occur.

How to Prevent Injuries

One of the best ways to prevent injuries is to promote safety throughout the workplace and home. You can get everyone involved and do a walk-through of your space to identify possible trouble spots, such as shelves that are stacked with objects that could easily fall on someone or areas of the floor that are extra slick. Remove obstacles that are in the way and could trip someone, and as you lift heavy items, show everyone the right techniques that protect the back. You can also have signs and posters up in places that are easy to see as friendly reminders about safety precautions.

What to Do if You Have an Injury

If you do suffer from an accident and require injury treatment, you will want to immediately visit a health center. The longer you put off wound care, the worse the injury could become and the longer the it will be before you get better. When you go to receive wound treatment, make sure that you follow the doctor’s orders and that you ask questions and address any concerns you have. However, even if you do not have an injury, National Safety Month is still a great time to get a wellness check to ensure you are on the right track with your health and you can perform all of your daily tasks with the strength and attention you need to prevent an injury.

National Men’s Health Month

June 13, 2017

Every year during the month of June, we recognize and celebrate “National Men’s Health Month.” Throughout the month of June, we and many other organizations aim to promote the importance of maintaining good men’s health through screenings, health fairs, various media appearances, and other health oriented education and outreach initiatives.

Raising Awareness of Preventable Health Problems

The primary purpose of National Men’s Health Month is to raise awareness about health problems that could be prevented through early detection practices, as well as providing information about various treatments available for men of all ages.


Through the month of June, media, individuals, and organizations are given the opportunity to encourage men to seek regular checkups and medical advice in order to detect the early signs of disease and other injuries. Through early prevention, men can make health, dietary, or other lifestyle changes that will make recovery or further disease and injury prevention more successful.

What to Do During National Men’s Health Month

There are many things you can do to help promote a healthier lifestyle for yourself, for someone you care about, or for members of your organization. Below are just a handful of ideas to help you get started, no matter what day of the month it is!


  • Reevaluate your dietary habits.
  • Get a flu shot from your local doctor.
  • Organize a health fair (in nonprofits, wellness centers, offices, etc.).
  • Hand out informational pamphlets at local organizations (such as churches and wellness centers).
  • Wear blue clothing or accessories for a “Wear Blue Day” to help promote Men’s Health Month.
  • Get outdoors for fun and physically engaging activities (e.g., walking, bicycling, hiking, sports, etc.).
  • Visit your doctor for your regular wellness visit.


North County Health Services provides adult medicine and adult care services in order to help men of all ages maintain a healthier lifestyle. Through sick visits, wellness visits, medication, adult vaccinations (through our immunization clinic), early detection checks, and more, men will be able to stay at the top of their health while simultaneously increasing the chance of detecting more severe conditions in their earliest stages, when they will have the highest rate of cure or prevention.

National Cancer Survivors’ Day

June 4, 2017

mental illness treatment

Every year on the first Sunday of June, we celebrate National Cancer Survivors Day. Taking place on June 4th, this year, we use National Cancer Survivors Day as a way to recognize and celebrate those that have won their battle with cancer.

National Cancer Survivors Day sheds light on this diseases by showing that life after a cancer diagnosis is possible. National Cancer Survivors Day brings hope to a situation which at first can seem insurmountable.

Finding Support for Cancer Treatment

Whether you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer, it’s absolutely crucial to stay close to your friends and family. The last thing anyone diagnosed with cancer wants to do is to bury themselves into their own secluded world.

Spend time looking around online and in your local community for groups of people that have already survived cancer and their treatment. Finding and being around survivors of cancer can greatly improve the cancer treatment process by giving the individual hope, which is sometimes a contributor to the rate of success with any kind of treatment.

Preventing Treatment Through Early Detection

One of the most effective ways to treat or even prevent cancer is to catch it in its earliest stages. Through cervical cancer screening or a pap test, for example, women and their doctors can spot the early signs of cancer development. When cancer of any form is detected in its earliest stages, it is easier to treat and has a much higher chance of the treatment being successful.

In some cases, it may even be possible to completely prevent cancer from developing any further, which is why it’s so important to visit your doctor regularly for cancer detection tests. Like the cervical cancer test or Pap smear, there are tests available for both men and women and for the various forms of cancer.

North County Health Services puts a large emphasis on cancer prevention and treatment. If you have not had your regular cancer screening this year or would like to set up a regular appointment, check out our cervical cancer screening page. You can give us a call to learn more or to set up your appointment.

Happy International Nurses Day!

May 12, 2017

Happy retired woman with a nurse while at the hospital

International Nurses Day

Every year, the entire world celebrates “International Nurse Day” on Friday, May 12th. This particular date marks the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. Each year, this day is commemorated by the International Council of Nurses by producing and distributing a specially created “International Nurses’ Day (IND) Kit.”

Every year, the ICN creates a campaign with a specific theme to help equip nurses with necessary information while helping the public understand important medical topics.

In previous years, the IND kit included educational and public information materials made available to nurses everywhere. Last year’s theme was “Nurses: A Force for Change: Improving Health Systems’ Resilience.”

The 2017 Theme: A Voice to lead

This year, the International Council of Nurses has decided upon the theme, “Nurses: A Voice to Lead, Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals” for its IND Kit. Accompanied by ICN website, the toolkit for this year and the ICN’s campaign aims at raising awareness (to both nurses and the general public) about SDGs and why they matter.

“SDGs” is short for Sustainable Development Goals, which have been created by the United Nations Development Programme. The UNDP created the SDGs to highlight 17 important areas of focus in our modern world:

  1. No Poverty
  2. Zero Hunger
  3. Good Health and Well-Being
  4. Quality Education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  10. Reduced Inequalities
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  13. Climate Action
  14. Life Below Water
  15. Life On Land
  16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  17. Partnerships for the Goals

The ICN hopes to inspire nurses, the general public, policymakers, organizations, and more to help raise awareness about the SDGs and find creative ways to push the general population of the world closer to achieving the 17 SDGs.

Contact us today to learn more about International Nurses Day, the Sustainable Development Goals, and how you can help the world take another step towards achieving them. Everyone from individuals to large organizations can play a part in helping the International Council of Nurses recognize their new vision.

Baked Strawberry Donuts!

May 11, 2017


Strawberries are the freshest in the spring and nothing says Happy Mother’s Day like a delicious and fruity treat! These baked strawberry donuts are the perfect breakfast in bed treat for mom. Their light and airy texture closely resembles those mini strawberry shortcakes we use to make when we were kids (or if you’re like us, anytime you’re craving whip cream and strawberries).

These donuts are very simple to make and are free of all extra refined sugars, preservatives, and artificial flavors. Feel free to top these babes with fresh jam, whip cream, or peanut butter for a PB & J bagel!



  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave or honey
  • 3 1/2 tbsp oil – If you don’t mind fat-free texture, you can use applesauce (35g)
  • 1 cup flour, loosely packed (works with all-purpose, spelt, or gf all-purpose mix) (125g)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup diced strawberries, fresh or frozen-thawed (60g)
  • optional add-ins: pinch cinnamon, handful mini chocolate chips or shredded coconut


Combine first 5 ingredients. Set aside. Grease a donut pan OR mini muffin pan, and preheat oven to 350 F. Stir together all remaining ingredients except strawberries. (For best taste and texture, I highly recommend the oil option.) Pour wet into dry once the oven is preheated, and stir until just evenly mixed. Don’t overmix. Stir in the berries. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until donuts have risen and the batter is no longer wet. Let sit 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Frosting ideas are listed earlier in this post.
recipe from: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/

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