America’s best kept secret that’s not really supposed to be a secret! Today’s experiment: WIC. Okay, so it is no secret that our government provides its States with grants to help out moms and kiddos with supplemental food assistance and nutritional education. But I feel like it was a secret because no one ever told me about it!
This program is great. My husband and I didn’t realize what a help it had been to us until this past month when I had to reschedule my appointment due to illness. We were sitting in the living room, going over our monthly budget and asking ourselves why we had considerably gone over what we normally allot for food. That’s when we realized the milk adds up.
WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) is a program that provides vouchers for food for women who are pregnant or nursing and for children, aged five and under. You also get to meet with a nutritionist who will help you evaluate your diet and set goals for better nutrition.
Meeting with the nutritionist is one of the highlights for me. Our nutritionist is so sweet and always answers all my questions. During the most recent appointment, she helped me realize that my daughter was drinking way too much milk as opposed to solid foods and gave me tips about how to get her drinking less and eating more.
If you are already participating in WIC, let me give you a piece of advice that was brought up to me by my wonderful sister in law, Caitlin. Fresh, unprepared produce and frozen produce is eligible for redemption. You will receive vouchers for fruits and vegetables. Also eligible is packaged bite-sized produce (such as baby carrots, bagged salads, or pre-cut melons). My sister in law discovered that the pre-cut produce was twice the price with half the product. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, go with the plain old unprepared produce that you’ll have to wash and chop yourself. A little effort goes a long way.
I am so grateful for this program and how it has helped my family and so many others. You can find out a lot more information about it here: http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/. You can also use that link to learn how to apply for WIC. So if you’ve never heard about it, look into it. If you don’t need it yourself, tell someone who does. Or, if you’ve heard about it, but never applied, go for it! You won’t be sorry.