The WIC food packages provide supplemental foods designed to meet the special nutritional needs of low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, non-breastfeeding postpartum women, infants and children up to five years of age who are at nutritional risk. WIC food packages and nutrition education are the chief means by which WIC affects the dietary quality and habits of participants.
This interim rule revises regulations governing the WIC food packages to align the WIC food packages with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and current infant feeding practice guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics, better promote and support the establishment of successful long-term breastfeeding, provide WIC participants with a wider variety of food, and provide WIC state agencies with greater flexibility in prescribing food packages to accommodate participants with cultural food preferences.
This final rule amends a number of existing provisions in the WIC program regulations to address issues raised by WIC state agencies, other members of the WIC community, and the US Government Accountability Office. This final rule also incorporates recent legislation and certain longstanding program policies and state agency practices into the regulations. Further, the final rule also streamlines certain requirements in the regulations.