WIC food packages. In the future, changes may be more easily implemented through efficient information technology systems in more locales.


The WIC program provides an average of 7.6 million women, infants, and young children each year with supplemental food. Changes in the food packages are warranted because of changes in demographics of the WIC population, in the food supply, in dietary patterns, in health risks, and in dietary guidance and recommendations. Together, these changes have created the current scenario in which the WIC food packages are inconsistent with dietary guidance and are in need of change to improve their acceptance by participants. Many stakeholders have called for changes in the WIC food packages based on changes in one or more of the areas listed above. The committee used the six criteria that appear in this chapter in making recommendations for changes to the WIC food packages. The remainder of this report addresses the processes used to develop recommendations for changes to the WIC food packages and the recommendations themselves.

  • Chapter 2Nutrient and Food Priorities for the WIC Food Packages—identifies the priorities the committee set for revising the WIC food packages and discusses how those priorities were determined.

  • Chapter 3Process Used for Revising the WIC Food Packages—discusses the process the committee used in redesigning the food packages.

  • Chapter 4Revised Food Packages—presents the committee’s specific recommendations for revising the WIC food packages.

  • Chapter 5Evaluation of Cost—estimates the costs of the food packages and variations of the packages, and compares estimated average per participant cost per month of the current and revised packages.

  • Chapter 6How the Revised Food Packages Meet the Criteria Specified—relates the committee’s recommended package changes back to the criteria.

  • Chapter 7Recommendations for Implementation and Evaluation of the Revised WIC Food Packages—presents the committee’s recommendations for effectively incorporating the revised food packages into the WIC program.

Overall, this report presents findings and other information intended to guide the Food and Nutrition Service of USDA to improve the supplemental food portion of the WIC program, improve the nutritional status of WIC participants, and, indirectly, to facilitate making the nutrition education component of the WIC program more consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

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