anticipates that the proposed addition of fresh fruits and vegetables will be a welcome addition to the food packages and will serve as an incentive for participation in the WIC program.

Specific Recommendations

Juice, primarily consumed as fruit juice, is part of the current food package for infants 4 months of age and over. In contrast, juice is not provided in the revised food packages for infants at any age and the quantity of juice is reduced in food packages for children and women. Deleting or reducing the quantity of juice in the set of food packages helps allow for the inclusion of whole fruits and vegetables while containing food costs. The reduction in the amount of juice provided for older children to about 4 ounces per day per day is consistent with the AAP recommendation for that age group (AAP, 2004). The AAP also notes that juice does not provide any additional nutritional benefit beyond that of whole fruit. The reduced amount of juice for women is consistent with the recommendation of the Dietary Guidelines 2005 that whole fruits be used for a majority of the total daily amount of fruit (DHHS/USDA, 2005).

For infants beginning at 6 months of age, the committee recommends the inclusion of commercial baby food fruits and vegetables and fresh bananas. Fresh bananas may be substituted for baby food fruits at the rate of approximately one fresh banana per four ounces of commercial product. To encourage or promote full breastfeeding, the recommended amounts of baby food fruits and vegetables are more generous for fully breast-fed infants than other infants as follows.

  • For fully breast-fed infants, approximately eight ounces of commercial baby food fruits and vegetables are provided per day.

  • For other infants, approximately four ounces of commercial baby food fruits and vegetables are provided per day.

These changes in Food Package II are based on several considerations. Baby food fruits and vegetables serve to introduce all older infants to new flavors and textures. For the fully breast-fed infants, they provide needed nutrients and also provide a nutritious food to mix with the pureed meat products (to improve their palatability and texture). Commercial baby foods allow targeting the food to the infant, and they are available in developmentally appropriate textures. The small size of the containers is compatible with food safety. That is, the food can be consumed within the safe storage period for refrigerated opened baby foods. The small size of the containers is also compatible with introducing the infant to a variety of foods and flavors over time. Substitution of banana for part of the commercial baby

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