Changes in WIC Program Add More Health Choices
As of Oct. 1, 2009, North Carolina made major changes to WIC, the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children.
There are more choices to support healthy habits, such as breast-feeding and eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains while lowering the fat, a news release said. And there is more variety.
Whole-grain breads and cereals, tortillas, brown rice, fruits, vegetables and tofu are just some of the new items that are available to low-income pregnant, postpartum and breast-feeding women, infants and children up to age 5.
These changes encourage more breast-feeding. Women who breast-feed receive more healthy foods than mothers who do not.
As concerns about growing rates of overweight, obesity and diabetes continue, health experts say an overhaul was needed.
"Originally, the WIC foods were meant to eliminate vitamin deficiencies," said Candace Davis, director of the WIC program for Moore County. "Today, it's more a problem of eating too much and not getting enough physical activity that we have to deal with. The new foods follow the dietary guidelines for Americans."
In general, the foods available to the Moore County WIC participants are higher in fiber and lower in fat. For the first time, selections such as tofu, brown rice, tortillas and a wider variety of beans meet more cultural preferences, the news release said.
At the WIC office in Moore County, families receive food instruments and cash-value vouchers along with recipes and tips on how to buy and use the healthier foods.
"The WIC program is especially helpful to families in this economy," Davis said. "Parents want to give their children healthier choices like more fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Now they can."
The N.C. WIC program supports healthy habits for healthy families.
Anyone needing more information can contact the Moore County WIC program at (910) 947-3271 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or go to www.nutritionnc.com and click on WIC.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
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