The staff of Bond County health Department’s Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program hosted a WIC Food Tasting on Thursday, November 15th. Staff prepared recipes that used products supplied by the WIC program. They included Peanutty Noodle Bowl, Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup, Old Fashioned Bread Pudding, Fruit and Veggie Muffins and Cowboy Caviar.
WIC has been supplying supplemental nutritious foods to low-income, nutritionally at risk pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age 5 since 1974. Participants must meet income guidelines, a State residency requirement, and be individually determined to be at “nutritional risk” by a health professional. To be eligible on the basis of income, applicants’ gross income (i.e. before taxes are withheld) must fall at or below 185 percent of the U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines.
Nationwide, during Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, the number of women, infants, and children receiving WIC benefits each month reached approximately 7.3 million. For the first 5 months of FY 2018, states reported average monthly participation over 7 million participants per month. Children have always been the largest category of WIC participants. Of the 7.3 million people who received WIC benefits each month in FY 2017, approximately 3.76 million were children, 1.79 million were infants, and 1.74 million were women. WIC serves 53 percent of all infants born in the United States.
Many benefits are provided to WIC participants including supplemental nutritious foods, nutrition education and counseling at WIC clinics, screening and referrals to other health, welfare and social services
WIC foods include infant cereal, iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable juice, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter, dried and canned beans/peas, and canned fish. Soy-based beverages, tofu, fruits and vegetables, baby foods, whole-wheat bread, and other whole-grain options were recently added to better meet the nutritional needs of WIC participants.
WIC recognizes and promotes breastfeeding as the optimal source of nutrition for infants. For women who do not fully breastfeed, WIC provides iron-fortified infant formula. Special infant formulas and medical foods may be provided when prescribed by a physician for a specified medical condition.
For more information regarding the WIC program or to apply, contact Bond County Health Department WIC program at 618-664-1442. You can get the recipes by stopping in the WIC offices at BCHD, 1520 S. 4th St, Greenville, IL or by going to the BCHD Facebook page.