Revisions in the WIC Food Packages
This proposed rule would revise regulations governing the WIC food packages to align the WIC food packages with the 2005 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, provide WIC State agencies with greater flexibility in prescribing food packages to accommodate participants with cultural food preferences, and serve participants with certain qualifying conditions under one food package to facilitate efficient management of medically fragile participants.
The revisions largely reflect recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in its Report ``WIC Food Packages: Time for a Change,'' with certain cost containment and administrative modifications found necessary by the Department to ensure cost neutrality. The proposed improvements to the WIC food packages can be made without increasing the projected costs.
The proposed rule would revise the maximum monthly allowances and minimum requirements for certain supplemental foods; revise the substitution rates for certain supplemental foods and allow additional foods as alternatives; redesign WIC food packages to enhance breastfeeding promotion and support; revise age specifications for assignment to infant food packages; add fruits and vegetables for WIC participants 6 months of age and older and eliminate juice from infants food packages; add whole grains to food packages for children and women and infant food meat for fully breastfed infants 6 through 11 months of age; revise the purpose, content, and requirements for the Food Package for the Medically Fragile, and address general provisions that apply to all food packages.