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Overview of the New Food Package

Information for Health Care Providers

MN WIC Program

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Beginning August 2009, the WIC Program will enhance promotion and support for long-term breastfeeding, and focus on prevention of overweight and other chronic diseases. Changes in WIC foods and services reflect the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005 IOM report "WIC Food Packages: Time for a Change", and recommendations by professional organizations such as AAP.

  • New Foods August 2009

  • Whole grains: bread, tortillas, brown rice and oats for women and children.
  • Fruits and vegetables for women and children.
  • Baby food fruits and vegetables (and meats for fully breastfed infants) starting at 6 months.
  • Dairy alternatives (soy beverage and tofu) for some participants.

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  • Changes in Foods

  • ONLY whole milk for children 12 - 23 months of age.
  • Only fat-free or 1% milk for children, 2 - 5 years, and women.
  • Canned legumes as an alternative to dry legumes.
  • Non-contract standard infant formulas will no longer be allowed.

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  • Changes in Quantities

  • More foods for breastfeeding women and women pregnant with multiples.
  • Less formula for partially breastfed and older infants.
  • No formula for breastfed babies in first month (to protect milk supply) unless a careful and complete WIC assessment finds a valid reason for 1 can of powdered formula.
  • Different quantities of formula to better match amounts recommended during baby's first year (e.g., less formula starting at 6 months of age when baby foods are provided).
  • Less juice, milk, cheese and eggs for women and children.

Reminder: WIC is a supplemental nutrition program and does NOT provide all the food (or formula) a WIC participant may need.

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  • Changes in "Prescription-Required" for Formulas and Other Foods

  • Combinations of medical formulas and regular WIC foods will be allowed for participants ≥6 months with qualifying medical conditions.
  • Prescriptions for WIC-allowed medical formulas must specify a medical condition (not a symptom), amount per day, and whether regular foods are to be delayed. (See Formula for more information.)
  • Whole milk for children (≥2 years) and women may be provided ONLY with a prescription for an allowable weight-related medical condition. (See Milk Substitutes for more information.)
  • New WIC request forms: Medical Formula/Foods Documentation and Authorization of Milk Substitutes are also available from local WIC agencies.

Medical Formula/Foods Documentation Form

Authorization of Milk Substitutes Form

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  • Renewed Focus of WIC Services on:

  • Prenatal anticipatory guidance and postpartum breastfeeding support.
  • Participant skill in selecting fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Preventing overweight/obesity.
  • Nutrition Messages: "eat more fruits and vegetables"; "lower saturated fat"; "increase whole grains and fiber"; "drink fewer sweetened beverages and juice"; and "babies are meant to be breastfed".

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