November, 2014 – Wisconsin WIC Nutrition Program (Women, Infants and Children) provides practical guidelines for parents to initiate healthy eating behaviors and routines during the child’s early developmental years.
Best practices are formed during these younger years on the importance of healthy eating, appropriate portion sizes, taste preferences and nutritional value.
During developmental years, it is best for children to have an eating routine that consists of three primary meals and two snacks, given at about the same time each day.
It is important for mom and dad to understand this is a process where the child is learning to eat when hungry and stop eating when full.
Meal portions should be served as child size servings; starting with about one tablespoon of each food for each year of the child’s age.
During these developmental years, parents should allow children to explore and become comfortable with eating a variety of foods, but never force them to eat.
Set meal times are important for younger children.
Meal time has always been centrally important, but especially in a household with younger children since it is a new learning experience for them.
Parents must be encouraging and let their children know it is okay to dislike certain foods, but always promote healthy options.
Whenever possible, parents should allow the child to serve themselves as this gives them insight on making their own food decisions.
WIC nutritionists talk with parents about their child’s nutrition needs, growth, health history and family eating habits.
WIC moms receive meal planning tips, recipes and information on how to shop on a budget. WIC children receive healthy foods such as: low-fat milk, whole grain cereal, 100% fruit juice, eggs, peanut butter, fruits and veggies, brown rice and many others.
For a complete listing of WIC foods, visit: http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/wic/foods/apprvfood.htm Wisconsin WIC Nutrition Program seeks to improve the overall well-being of children and their full development.
WIC not only provides nutrition expertise but also refers to pediatric healthcare services.
WIC Children are more likely to have a regular source of medical care and up-to-date immunizations.
In addition, referrals are made to Early Head Start and Head Start Programs. Children who receive WIC food benefits demonstrate improved readiness for school.
Nutrition education is a cornerstone of the program which helps to improve children’s diets.
The Wisconsin WIC Program (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) is administered at the Federal level by the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The WIC program was established in 1974 to provide Federal grants to States for nutrition education, supplemental foods, and health care referrals for low and moderate income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, as well as infants and children who have a health or nutrition need.
To assess eligibility or to find out more about WIC services, visit: http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/wic/ or call the hotline at 1-800-722-2295.