An Apple a Day

Welcome to my blog – An Apple a Day! This is where I hope you and I can have a conversation about all things health-related.

This column is meant to be an opportunity for you to learn my thoughts on everything from healthy living and fitness to immunizations and protecting yourself from infectious disease.

It’s a chance for me to share my ideas on how to optimize all we know about the latest and greatest in health science and innovation to keep you and your family happy and well. And you’ll get to read up on all the many things happening here at the County of Riverside Department of Health. Of course, there are a lot of pretty incredible things happening here—community forums, informative programs and comprehensive services, all designed to support your health and wellness goals.

Check in every week for a new blog where we will begin a journey towards your best health – together. And be sure to follow me on Twitter: @rivcodoc and Facebook.

                                      Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Public Health Officer 

What makes a good child care center?  

August 16, 2017 

With the big kids heading back to school, it’s time consider the care and feeding of the little ones. The good news is that Public Health’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care, or NAP SACC program is a great resource for finding the best child care for your child because of the work they do with licensed child care centers located throughout Riverside County.  

Funded by First 5 Riverside, NAP SACC provides licensed child care facilities the tools they need to enhance their menus and promote healthy eating habits and active indoor/outdoor play. 

So, what should you look for in a child care center?

  • Make sure the child care facility is licensed through the California Department of Social Services.
  • Look for a site that has been NAP SACC certified. You can tell by a NAP SACC certificate posted on the wall and a sticker in the window.
  • Review a list of NAP SACC certified sites on Simply click on the NAP SACC logo.
  • Look for a healthy menu offering fresh fruits and vegetables every day and juice offered at least once a week.  The menu should be posted for the parents to see
  • A great child care center will provide active play time and limited television use.
  • Ensure that the center promotes healthy eating and incorporates nutrition in its curriculum.
  • Finally, make sure the staff communicates well with parents on the activities their children enjoy, foods they are trying and what they are learning. 

Riverside University Health System – Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +. And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at 

Back to school means back to basics


July 24, 2017


In a few short weeks, thousands of Riverside County students will be heading back to the classroom. And while many kids may be dreading the day, there are things that parents can do to help smooth the transition back to school.

First up – start tossing out those sugary snacks and beverages and reintroduce healthy foods that a rich in vitamins and nutrients. The change will strengthen kids’ bodies and minds in preparation for improved learning.

Make sure your child is up-to-date with immunizations that will protect against the flu and other diseases that can spread quickly in a confined setting.

Get some sleep. That’s right – now is the time to start sliding back into a school-friendly sleep routine. Forgo those late nights for a few early mornings so that the transition back to the classroom is an easy one.

Finally, put a plan into motion this school year to have your kids walk to school. Meet up with friends and classmates and walk together for a fun, healthy start to the day, even if it’s just one to two days a week.

Riverside University Health System – Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +. And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at

It’s National Men’s Health Week


June 13, 2017


Let’s be honest, guys. We don’t always like to go to the doctor. We prefer to see ourselves as forever young and healthy.


But, as we mark Men’s Health Week (June 12-18), this is an important time to be mindful of our health and wellness. And the best way to do that is to become informed of the various health risks.


For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Every year, more than 300,000 men in the United States lose their lives to cancer. The most common kinds of cancer among men in the U.S. are skin cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal (colon) cancer.”


The good news is that many illnesses and diseases can be prevented with annual check-ups with your health care provider. Many cancers such as colon and prostate cancer can be screened for, especially if there's someone in your immediate family who's had it.


A healthy diet made up of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, lots of water and daily exercise can also go a long way to maintaining your best health and wellness for a long and happy life.


So, just do it! Make that appointment with your health care provider today!


Riverside University Health System – Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +. And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at

13 reasons to live

June 6, 2017

With all the many questions and concerns that have come from Netflix' controversial series "13 Reasons Why," this issue of how we talk about suicide has become more prominent.

As our public health staff continues to do its good work in the community and in classrooms throughout Riverside County, it might be time to talk instead about all the reasons we have to live.

We all know the obvious reasons to live. We live for our families and our friends. We live for the love they have for us and the love and friendship that we can offer others.

We live to care for those who need us and for the chance to teach and guide and provide for those around us.

We live to grow and prosper. We live to watch our children grow and prosper.

But there are other reasons to live, even when we feel so low that we cannot imagine going on. We have to keep living because our pain is temporary. Like all things in this world, it will not last. Situations and circumstances will change because they must. That is how life works.

Most important, we live because waiting just outside of our sadness are people who want to help, even strangers. There are professionals and resources and protocols in place for helping us work through our tough times.

I know this because I see the work those professionals do here at Public Health every day.

Visit to learn more.

Riverside University Health System – Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +. And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at