Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

WIC Food Package Regulatory Requirements

Last Modified: 12/03/2013

What are the Federal regulatory requirements for WIC-eligible foods?

The following list provides the Federal requirements for WIC-eligible foods. USDA requirements for WIC-eligible foods can be found in 7 CFR part 246.10. Click here to view the Federal regulation on the WIC food requirements.  WIC State agencies must use these requirements when authorizing foods on the State WIC food list. However, State agencies do not have to authorize all foods that meet WIC-eligibility requirements.

The following WIC foods must comply with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Standards of Identity. To view the Standards of Identity for infant formula, exempt infant formula, fruit/vegetable juices, milks, cheeses, fresh eggs, canned legumes and lentils, peanut butters, carrots and canned tuna visit the FDA web site at http://www.fda.gov/Food/default.htm and click on the Federal Register and CFR link.  

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WIC-Eligible Foods  

Adult Cereal

Infant Cereal

Adult & Infant Juice

Milk

Cheese

Eggs

Beans/Peas/
Peanut Butter

Carrots

Tuna

Infant Formula

 

Exempt Infant Formula

Medical Foods

ADULT CEREAL

Types of Cereal  

  • Hot or cold:  cooked-instant or non-instant or ready-to-serve
  • Adult breakfast varieties (e.g., corn flakes, bran flakes, oatmeal, grits)  

Requirements

  • Minimum of 28 milligrams of Iron per 100 grams of dry cereal (i.e., iron = 45% U.S. RDA for adults per 1 ounce dry cereal)
  • Not more than 21.2 grams of sucrose and other sugars per 100 grams of dry cereal (i.e., not more than 6 grams of sucrose and other sugars per 1 ounce dry cereal)  

INFANT CEREAL  

Types of Cereal   

  • Any plain, dry infant cereal (e.g., rice, barley, mixed grain)  

Requirements 

  • Minimum of 45 milligrams of Iron per 100 grams of dry cereal (i.e., Iron = 45% U.S. RDA for infants per ½ ounce dry cereal) 

Not Allowed 

  • Wet-pack (jarred) infant cereal*
  • Infant cereal with added formula (dry or wet-pack)
  • Infant cereal with added fruit (dry or wet-pack)

*Note: at the State agency’s discretion wet-pack infant cereal may be issued to homeless individuals.   

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ADULT and INFANT JUICE

Types of Juice  

  • Any adult or infant fruit and/or vegetable juice or juice blends (e.g., orange, grapefruit, apple, grape, pineapple, tomato, cran-apple)
  • Single strength
  • Concentrates  (frozen and shelf-stable)

Requirements  

  • 100% fruit and/or vegetable juice
  • Minimum of 30 milligrams of Vitamin C per 100 milliliters of Juice or 72 milligrams of Vitamin C per 8-fluid ounces (i.e., Vitamin C = 90% U.S. RDA for women per 6 fluid ounces juice)
  • Label should indicate that an 8-ounce serving provides 120% of the FDA’s Daily Value (DV) of Vitamin C
  • For Infant Juice: minimum  of 30 milligrams of Vitamin C per 100 milliliters of Juice or 35.4 milligrams per 4-fluid ounces of juice (i.e., Vitamin C = 100% U.S. RDA for infants per 4 fluid ounces of juice)  

Not Allowed  

  • Fruit drinks
  • Fruit-flavored ades
  • Sodas
  • Other beverages that are not 100% juice  

MILK  

Types of Milk  

  • Fluid*:  whole, low-fat, or nonfat
  • Cultured buttermilk
  • Evaporated:  whole or skim
  • Dry:  whole, low fat, or skim

*Note: at the State agency’s discretion, special types of fluid milk, e.g., Sweet Acidophilus, Lactaid, and calcium-fortified milk may be substituted.  

Requirements

  • Cow’s milk*
  • Pasteurized
  • Unflavored or flavored
  • 400 International Units of Vitamin D per quart
  • 2000 International Units of Vitamin A per quart (low-fat or nonfat)  

*Note: At the State agency’s discretion, goat’s milk may be substituted for cow’s milk. WIC-authorized goat’s milk must meet the same requirements as for cow’s milk.  

 

CHEESE

Types of Cheese

  • Pasteurized Process American
  • Brick
  • Cheddar
  • Colby*
  • Monterey Jack*
  • Mozzarella:  part skim or whole
  • Muenster
  • Provolone
  • Swiss  

*Note:  Blends of approved cheeses, e.g., CoJack, may be substituted.

Requirements

  • Must be real cheese (as stated on product label)
  • Must be domestic cheese

Not Allowed

  • Cheese foods or spreads
  • Imported cheeses  

 

EGGS

Types of Eggs/Requirements

  • Fresh hen’s eggs:  any size, white or brown shells
  • Dried egg mix  

DRIED BEANS/PEAS/PEANUT BUTTER

Types/Requirements

  • Mature dry beans or peas (e.g., lentils, black, navy, kidney, garbanzo, soy, pinto, and mung beans; Crowder, cow, split and black-eyed peas)
  • Peanut butter:  plain - smooth or chunky, all-natural or processed without added jelly, marshmallow or other mixtures

Not Allowed

  • Peanut Spreads
  • Peanut butter with added jelly, marshmallow or other mixtures  

 

CARROTS

Types of Carrots

  • Raw
  • Canned
  • Frozen  

Requirements

  • Mature raw only (no baby carrots)
  • Canned and frozen carrots must contain only the mature root of the carrot packed in water    

 

TUNA 

Types of Tuna

  • Canned white, light, dark or blended
  • Packed in water or oil
  • Including solid and solid pack; chunk, chunks and chunk style; flake and flakes; and grated  

 

INFANT FORMULA    

Physical Forms 

Maximum Monthly Allowance  

Concentrated liquid 403 fluid ounces
Powdered  8 pounds
Ready-to-feed (RTF) 806 fluid ounces

Requirements    

  • Complies with the definition in section 201(z) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (21U.S.C. 321(z)) and meets the requirements under section 412 of the Federal Food, Drug Act (21 U.S.C. 350a) and regulations at 21 CFR parts 106 and 107
  • Nutritionally complete infant formula not requiring the addition of any ingredients other that water prior to being served in a liquid state
  • Iron-fortified, containing at least 10 milligrams of Iron per liter of formula at standard dilution
  • Supplies 67 calories per 100 milliliters of formula at standard dilution (i.e., 20 calories per fluid ounce of prepared formula)
  • May require medical documentation for issuance  

 

EXEMPT INFANT FORMULA

Physical Forms 

Maximum Monthly Allowance  

Concentrated liquid 403 fluid ounces
Powdered  8 pounds
Ready-to-feed (RTF) 806 fluid ounces

Requirements  

  • Complies with the definition in section 412(h) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (21U.S.C. 350a(h)) and meets the requirements under section 412 of the Federal Food, Drug Act (21 U.S.C. 350a) and regulations at 21 CFR parts 106 and 107
  • Requires medical documentation  

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WIC-ELIGIBLE MEDICAL FOODS

Types of Medical Foods

  • Concentrated liquid
  • Powdered
  • Ready-to-feed (RTF) or ready-to use (RTU) liquid
  • RTF or RTU solid/bar
  • Semi-solid formulas having the consistency of “pudding”  

Requirements    

  • Medical documentation required for issuance
  • Medically necessary and prescribed by a physician when conventional foods cannot be consumed by women or children with special dietary needs.
  • Intended for use as an oral feeding; formulas administered through a nasogastric tube may be substituted.
  • Should serve as a major source of nutrients but may have to be supplemented by additional special nutritional products.  

Not Allowed  

  • Formulas used solely for the purpose of enhancing nutrient intake or managing body weight (e.g., vitamin pills, weight control products)
  • Medicines or drugs
  • Hyperalimentation feedings (nourishment administered through a vein)
  • Enzymes
  • Oral rehydration fluids or electrolyte solutions
  • Flavoring agents
  • Feeding utensils or devices (e.g., feeding tubes, bags, pumps) designed to administer a WIC-eligible formula