August 04, 2006

Fruits and vegetables added to WIC list - Yahoo! News

I thought this was interesting enough to post most of the article. (click the link to read the full article)

Fruits and vegetables added to WIC list - Yahoo! News

Comments on this are strongly encouraged!

"WIC now pays about $35 monthly for staples such as juice, eggs, cheese and milk, but the program will pay for less of those products to cover the new foods' cost.

The revisions follow the advice of the federally chartered Institute of Medicine, which said the WIC program needs to reflect changes in science and society since it was created three decades ago.

The addition of fruits, vegetables and whole grain products also tracks changes last year to the government's own dietary guidelines.

'The WIC food package has not been revised or updated since 1980,' said Kate Coler, the Agriculture Department deputy undersecretary who oversees the program. 'We thought it was a prudent time to have a scientific review of the package."

Proposed changes include:

_The amount of juice would be cut from up to 9 ounces daily to 4 ounces for children ages 1 through 5.

_Milk would be cut from up to 3 cups daily to 2 cups for children 1 through 5. New substitutions would allow soy milk and tofu for people who have milk allergies or trouble digesting lactose.

_Whole grain bread would be added to the list. Substitutions such as corn tortillas and brown rice would be allowed to reflect the cultural diversity of those served by WIC.

WIC encourages mothers to breast-feed their babies by offering more foods, particularly for women whose children aren't getting formula through the program. Those women currently can get one vegetable, carrots, as well as canned tuna.

The new list would increase the amount of canned fish to 30 ounces and add canned salmon as an option. The president of the U.S. Tuna Foundation, Anne Forristall Luke, applauded the plan.

"Canned tuna is a convenient, affordable and nutritious food we all grew up on and is unrivaled in its nutritional benefits," she said.

WIC pays for canned white, light, dark or blended tuna packed in water or oil.

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