The WIC food packages provide supplemental foods designed to meet the special nutritional needs of low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, non-breastfeeding postpartum women, infants and children up to five years of age who are at nutritional risk. WIC food packages and nutrition education are the chief means by which WIC affects the dietary quality and habits of participants.
A final rule revising the food packages was published on March 4, 2014. This rule completes implementation of the first comprehensive revisions to the WIC food packages since 1980.
The revisions are designed to improve the nutrition and health of the nation’s low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants and young children by providing more healthy choices to meet their needs during critical periods of growth and development. The modifications in the final rule reflect the experiences of WIC State agencies in implementing the interim rule, while continuing to fulfill the intent of the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies that serve as the basis for the WIC food package changes. The final rule modifications include yogurt as a partial substitute for milk and more whole grain options for women and children as well as additional fruits and vegetables for children.