New Report on WIC Highlights Importance of Child Nutrition Programs

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) improves the health of millions of low-income Americans every day. WIC currently provides foods and nutrition education services for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk. WIC is an essential part of the nutritional safety net and it continues to make tangible improvements in the lives of mothers and children across the country.

Today, the Department of Agriculture released its Infant Year Report from USDA’s WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study 2 (WIC ITFPS-2), designed to describe the nutrition and health outcomes for children who participate in the WIC program. One of the key findings of the report was that 60% of mothers reported that, as a result of what they learned from WIC, they had changed how they feed their families  such as by eating more fruits and vegetables, choosing better foods for their families, and offering children the right amount of foods. This report adds to the body of research that demonstrates the WIC program improves health outcomes by improving diet quality through nutritional education.

The report released today once again highlights the importance of the WIC program and its demonstrated efficacy in helping families access better foods and develop healthy eating habits. While we work to reauthorize child nutrition programs, we must remember that innumerable studies have shown healthier meals have a positive impact on students’ academic performance, behavioral outcomes, and long-term health. This Committee must never forget the ways WIC improves educational outcomes for children and its importance to communities across the country.