Important changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) take effect October 1 and are anticipated to have a positive impact on the health of Idaho families. Beginning today, WIC participants in Idaho will be shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy whole grains, as well as more familiar WIC foods such as milk, cheese, eggs and cereal.
The WIC program is a federally funded supplemental nutrition and breastfeeding promotion program for lower-income and nutritionally at-risk pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and young children under the age of five years. It is a short-term program designed to influence a lifetime of nutrition and health. WIC prevents health problems and improves the nutritional wellbeing of our nation’s women, infants and children, especially during critical growth periods. Idaho’s WIC program currently serves over 46,000 participants each month, including more than half of the state’s infants.
The new foods are the first major change of authorized foods in the program’s 35-year history and are designed to be cost neutral. WIC-authorized foods are changing based on the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine, the latest nutrition science, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and infant feeding practice guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“These long-awaited changes will align the foods WIC provides with the current nutrition guidelines to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains,” says Carolyn Conner, State WIC Program Manager. “This will benefit the health of Idaho women and children.”
To see if you are eligible for WIC, or for more information about WIC in your area, call the Idaho CareLine at 211 or 1-800-926-2588. Information can also be found at http://www.wic.dhw.idaho.gov/.
(Editors: For more information please contact Emily Simnitt at 334-0693.)