The Changing Face Of The WIC Program.
Some of the food items you'll see in the WIC program.
In an effort to help parent's meet their child/children's nutritional needs, participants of the WIC program will see both minor and major changes when they visit their local WIC offices.
What Is The WIC Program?
For those of you who may not be familiar with this program, WIC is a state funded special supplemental food program for Women, Infants and Children which improves the health and nutritional status of low-income, pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, their infants and children - up to the age of five.
In addition to providing important nutrition and healthy-living information that can help both mother and child/children to thrive, the WIC program also offers valuable food vouchers to help meet some of the participants nutritional needs.
You Say The Program Has Changed - How So?
As a participant of this program, how ecstatic I was, when I was informed today of the changes that had been made to the food choices offered.
In addition to the milk, juice, eggs, cheese, cereal, and peanut butter (or dried beans) offered to the participants, grains and fruits and vegetables have been recently added as well!
There is a small catch however - Due to the new foods offered, there has been a slight reduction of eggs, cheese, cereal and juice that were once provided.
Nevertheless, in my opinion, the new food items offered should readily make up for the reductions of the previous items provided through this program.
Here's a list of some of the new food items recently introduced to the WIC program:
Whole wheat bread or other whole grain options such as brown rice, tortillas, and buns.
* Fruits and Vegetables.
A $6 cash voucher has now been added to allow participants to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, or canned - although fresh is always encouraged).
The major changes under the diary category, is the changing of whole milk to low-fat or fat-free milk for children 2-5 years of age.
Under the protein category, the major changes include:
1.) No peanut butter is offered on food vouchers for children under two years of age.
2.) Participants are now able to substitute four cans 14 to 16 oz beans for 1 lb of dried beans.
* What's All The Buzz About?
With the economy the way it is now, it is truly a struggle for many to feed their family - and feed them well.
Processed or highly sugary/salty foods are not only abundant, they tend to be the most affordable for a family head struggling to feed his/her family - period.
These new food additions therefore, may offer a little relief (and every little bit counts) to family heads who are concerned about giving their family more healthy food choices.
So buzz-worthy was this news, that even those who may have stopped participating in the program (although they are eligible) are opting to re-certify their children under the age of five.
Several of the staff members were so impressed as well, that many expressed how they themselves wished that their own children qualified.
The changes that the WIC program has made is truly admirable.
Not only will it help meet the nutritional needs of it's young participants, it will also offer a little relief for those struggling to feed their families well-balanced, healthy, and nutritional meals everyday.
The Changing Face of The WIC Program - Changing For The Better.
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