The following HTML text is provided to enhance online
readability. Many aspects of typography translate only awkwardly to HTML.
Please use the page image
as the authoritative form to ensure accuracy.
WIC Food Packages: Time for a Change
feeding, formula-feeding, feeding other foods to infants and young children, developing healthy eating patterns, and promoting food safety. Most of the recommendations derive from dietary guidance provided by the Committee on Nutrition of the American Academy of Pediatrics or by the American Dietetic Association.
Table 6-4 provides a side-by-side comparison of how the revised food packages for infants and young children meet the established recommendations. The major revisions center on changes to the infants’ food packages to help meet the developmental needs of infants (e.g., delaying the provision of complementary foods until 6 months of age; inclusion of commercial baby food for infants 6 months of age and older to introduce older infants to a wider variety of foods in appropriate forms). A major revision of the children’s food package is the specification that whole milk with 3.5 to 4 percent milk fat be the type of milk provided for only one WIC subpopulation—children ages 12 through 23 months. The committee recognizes that it will not be convenient to obtain whole milk for a 1-year-old child and obtain other types of milk for other WIC participants in the household. However, the committee has a strong basis for the proposed change: (1) clear recommendations recently re-published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP, 2004) and (2) the findings that a sizeable percentage of young children have fat intakes below the lower boundary of the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) (IOM, 2002/2005; see Table 2-5, Chapter 2—Nutrient and Food Priorities). Nutrition education can help the parents or guardians learn about the importance of providing adequate fat intake for young children and the importance of separating certain items for use by one or more specific household members.
Criterion 4:Foods in the package are available in forms suitable for low-income persons who may have limited transportation, storage, and cooking facilities.
If adopted at the state agency level, the committee’s recommendations allow local agencies a wide range of options for tailoring the food packages to meet specific participant needs and preferences. Table 6-5 summarizes how the changes recommended address Criterion 4, highlighting some of the major concerns expressed to the committee by various stakeholders.
Criterion 5:Foods in the package are readily acceptable, widely available, and commonly consumed; take into account cultural food preferences; and provide incentives for families to participate in the WIC program.
This criterion guided many of the committee’s decisions with regard to recommendations for the revised food packages. The major revision that allows the food packages to address the issue of cultural suitability is the