Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the WIC Program - WIC is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. WIC provides services to pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and children up to five years of age.
WIC helps to:
- Ensure infants’ and children’s normal growth, reduces levels of anemia, increases immunization rates, improves access to regular health care/social services and improves diets.
- Improve healthful behaviors that are linked to reducing early childhood overweight.
- Increase consumption of whole grains, fruits and lower-fat milk.
- Reduce household food insecurity.
- Increase the breastfeeding rates by providing breastfeeding education and support.
WIC provides nutrition education to participants. Moms meet with a nutritionist and talk about what she’s eating and what her family is eating. Nutrition education may be one-on-one, in group classes, or online and can include learning about:
- Healthy eating during pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Developing healthy eating habits for kids
- Physical activities for healthy families
- How to cook healthy, delicious meals
WIC promotes breastfeeding as the optimal infant feeding choice and supports moms along the way. WIC staff educate pregnant women on the benefits of breastfeeding and help them plan for it. Once she starts breastfeeding, WIC breastfeeding staff provide support, answer questions, and some states offer help hotlines.
WIC provides a tailored monthly food package. The foods vary depending on the nutrient needs of the mom and her kids during the stages of pregnancy, breastfeeding, infancy and childhood. Only specific healthy foods can be purchased such as whole grains, dairy, fish, peanut butter, beans, and fruits and vegetables.
WIC serves as a gateway to healthcare and connects families to the resources they need:
- Prenatal, obstetric, maternal and pediatric care
- Dental care
- Smoking cessation, drug and alcohol abuse counseling
- Head Start coordination
- SNAP & community food assistance programs
- Parents as Teachers
- Other community programs