Skip all navigation Skip to page navigation

Este pagina en espanol WIC expands food choices to promote health

Release Date: September 29, 2009
Contact: Carol Schriber, 919-733-9190

RALEIGH – Healthier food choices are being added to the to the National WIC program beginning Oct. 1.  The WIC program is a Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. The new WIC foods include fruits, vegetables and whole grains, foods that are higher in fiber and lower in fat.

“We are very excited about the new WIC foods,” said state WIC director Alice Lenihan, a registered dietitian in the N.C. Division of Public Health. “The new foods will help people eat healthier, and the new guidelines will help us better promote and support breastfeeding.”  

WIC nutrition education promotes healthy habits giving families a healthy start, such as breastfeeding for infants, choosing lower-fat foods, increasing fiber with whole grains, more fruits and vegetables, and drinking less juice and sweetened beverages.  North Carolina’s work on the new requirements started with the move to lower-fat milk in January 2009.

Some new foods like whole wheat and whole grain breads, brown rice, tofu, whole wheat and soft-corn tortillas, along with canned beans were chosen to offer more variety and meet more cultural preferences. At the same time, the allowable amounts of some current WIC foods will change.

The WIC program changes are based on the national Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In North Carolina, WIC provides nutritious supplemental foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to health and social services to over 270,000 participants each month.

To be eligible for WIC in North Carolina, a person must:

  • Be Pregnant;  breastfeeding up to 12 months; a woman who has had a baby in the last six months; an infant; or a child up to 5yrs;
  • Reside in North Carolina;
  • Meet income eligibility requirements;
  • Have an identified nutritional risk as determined by a health professional. 

To find out the location of your local WIC office, see the WIC web site, call your local health department, or call the toll-free Family Health Resource line at 1-800-FOR BABY (1-800-367-2229). 



 Ready NC Connect NC