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WIC Food Packages: Time for a Change
and timing of availability of complementary foods, and the requirement for whole milk for 1-year-old children.
Amounts of Infant Formula Provided
Fully Formula-Fed Infants—For fully formula-fed infants birth through 3 months of age (Food Package I-FF-A), the amount of formula provided is not changed from the current Food Package I. The maximum allowance of 403 fluid ounces of formula concentrate (26 fl oz of formula per day)15 provides approximately 530 kilocalories per day, which is nearly the same as the mean Estimated Energy Requirement (EER) of 555 kilocalories per day for formula-fed WIC infants birth through 3 months of age (see Appendix B—Nutrient Profiles of Current and Revised Food Packages for detailed information).
For fully formula-fed infants 4 through 5 months of age (Food Package I-FF-B), the committee recommends increasing the maximum amount of formula to 442 fluid ounces of formula concentrate per month. The slightly increased amount provides an additional 2.5 fluid ounces of formula per day and brings the total food energy to 581 kilocalories per day. This amount of food energy equals 93 percent of the mean EER for infants 4 through 5 months of age (623 kilocalories per day) and 88 percent of the maximum food energy provided by the current Food Package II (for infants 4–11 mo of age).16 (See Appendix B for detailed information.) Thus, compared with the current Food Package II, the revised Food Package I-FF-B provides slightly less energy to infants 4 through 5 months of age. The seeming contradiction (fewer calories despite more formula) is explained by the exclusion of juice and cereal from the revised food package for infants 4 through 5 months of age. In the current Food Package II, the juice and cereal provide about 134 kilocalories per day (see Appendix B for detailed information). The revised infant food packages provide essential nutrients without providing excess food energy and reinforce the nutrition education message to initiate the routine feeding of complementary foods beginning around six months of age (AAP, 2004, 2005). For fully formula-fed infants ages 6 through 11 months (Food Package II-FF), the proposed amount of
Factor for days per month—In keeping with the apparent assumptions used in various FNS documents, the committee used the factor of 31 days per month for calculations involving nutrients provided for infants. For all other participants, the committee used the factor of 30 days per month. For standard use, formula concentrate is diluted with an equal amount of water. Thus, 13 fluid ounces of formula concentrate reconstitutes to 26 fluid ounces of formula. A 13-fluid ounce can of infant formula concentrate is a common unit for purchase.
Substitution for powdered formula—See Table B-6 in Appendix B—Nutrient Profiles—for the amounts of powdered formula that would be allowed.