National WIC Association

Strengthening Families’ Health With Nutritious Foods

May 1, 2014
Categories: Maternal and Child Health Nutrition Obesity Prevention iron

The WIC Way is the Healthy Way

The WIC Program provides moms and kids with a set amount of healthy foods each month, called a food package.

The "Food Package" refers to the designated foods that WIC participants redeem from the grocery store.

WIC only allows certain healthy foods to supplement the participant's diet. These foods are recommended by the Institute of medicine (IOM) and are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as well as the nationally established dietary recommendations for infants and children under two years of age.

The foods included in an individual's food package vary based on the participant's category. WIC benefits can even be used at farmers’ markets in some states!

Some of the healthy foods included are:

  • Whole grains
  • Dairy
  • Fish
  • Peanut buttter
  • Beans
  • Fruits and vegetables

WIC Foods Help Strengthen Family Health

  • WIC children have increased intakes of iron, potassium, and fiber.
  • WIC Food Package changes in 2009 were followed by improved dietary intake and obesity reduction among WIC children.
  • WIC participation helps reduce household food insecurity.
  • See these references in our WIC for a Healthier America.

Healthier Foods for Everyone

  • WIC has helped improve the availability of healthy foods, specifically in convenience and grocery stores in low-income areas: Study 1. Study 2. Study 3.  

Celebrating Healthy Foods

The National WIC Association’s theme for WIC's 40th Anniversary—WIC: Strengthening Families for 40 Years—showcases how the WIC Program is one of our country’s most important public health programs, and has enriched the lives of millions of families over the years.

Not everyone knows about WIC's healthy foods. We’ve created a short animated video to help illustrate how WIC helps strengthen families’ healthy eating habits for generations to come.

Help us bring awareness to the value of WIC’s nutrition education services by sharing it!

Help us celebrate four decades of WIC successes! Check out for shareable anniversary materials, resources, and a calendar of events. Questions? email Samantha at

WIC serves nearly 9 million low-income mothers and young children monthly, including 53% of all infants born in the U.S. Since the program’s inception in 1974, WIC’s services have consistently and successfully improved health outcomes in the population it serves.