National WIC Association

Nutrition

WIC provides a monthly prescription of nutritious foods – aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans – that supplement the nutritional needs of participants and supports optimal nutrition during critical periods of growth and development-pregnancy, infancy and early childhood. WIC also provides nutrition education that is specific to participant needs and promotes healthy eating habits for life.


Fast Facts

2014

The year a final rule revising the WIC food packages to reduce the prevalence of inadequate and excessive nutrient intakes in participants was published.

2013

The year USDA developed the Loving Support Award of Excellence to motivate local agencies to strengthen their breastfeeding promotion and support efforts.


Related Blog Posts

January 14, 2015
NWA Recommendations for the 2014/2015 IOM Review of the WIC Food Packages

Read NWA's recommendations for the WIC food packages.


May 19, 2014
Monday Call-in: Don’t Let Congress Pick WIC Foods!

Don't let Congress pick WIC foods!


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Related Research

July 1, 2013
Changing WIC changes what children eat

This study investigated dietary intake and obesity prevalence changes in WIC children after the implementation of the revised WIC food packages in 2009. Results showed increases in WIC mothers’ breastfeeding initiation and in the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat/non-fat milk by young children. Weight for length and body mass index also decreased in young children. 


May 1, 2012
Revised WIC food package improves diets of WIC families

The authors analyzed the impact of the new WIC food packages on WIC participants’ consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat milk. Changes in the WIC food packages produced the following results: Consumption of whole grains improved by 17.3 percentage points, from baseline; and consumption of whole milk decreased 60% to 63%, for caregivers and children, respectively. In addition, though small, there was a significant increase in the consumption of fruits and vegetables.


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Why It Matters

  • The Institute of Medicine concluded that nearly all U.S. low-income women in the childbearing years and children ages 2-5 are at dietary risk and vulnerable to poor nutrition intake.
  • Preterm births cost society over $26 billion a year while more than 75% of U.S. health care costs are due to chronic conditions.
  • Optimum nutrition intake promotes a healthy body weight that will enable positive birth outcomes in women and reduce the risk of chronic diseases in both adults and children.

NWA Resources

 

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