Cooking healthy with WIC

August 27, 2019

On a recent Tuesday, nearly a dozen women, some awaiting the arrival of their babies and others with young children, gathered in a classroom of Connections in Seaford to learn how to prepare a nutritious and tasty meal using WIC foods.

Through a partnership with the Food Bank of Delaware, a trained WIC nutrition educator offers a class for the pregnancy group at Connections sites, such as Seaford, that includes a cooking or food preparation demonstration, as well as the opportunity to sample – of course.

WIC Nutrition Specialist Chong Yi arrives with an electric skillet, cooking utensils, and all the necessary ingredients needed to make tasty applesauce pancakes. This is her second visit in a four-part series.

Using flour, rather than a pancake mix, she demonstrates how easy it is to create pancakes from scratch with eggs and milk, all WIC food. This recipe includes applesauce, a non-WIC food, but Chong suggests a do-it-yourself version using fresh apples.

Connections Community Support Programs, Inc. offers support for vulnerable members of society, including addiction treatment and recovery services. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides federal grants for supplemental foods and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are at nutritional risk.

WIC participants receive electronic cards to purchase specific foods each month that are designed to supplement their diets with specific nutrients. Different food packages are provided for different categories of participants.

WIC foods include infant cereal, iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable juice, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter, dried and canned beans/peas, and canned fish. Soy-based beverages, tofu, fruits and vegetables, baby foods, whole-wheat bread, and other whole-grain options were recently added to better meet the nutritional needs of WIC participants.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food & Nutrition Services website, WIC recognizes and promotes breastfeeding as the optimal source of nutrition for infants. For women who do not fully breastfeed, WIC provides iron-fortified infant formula. Special infant formulas and medical foods may be provided when prescribed by a physician for a specified medical condition.

The women and toddlers enjoyed hot pancakes topped with syrup, and they praised the class.

“They are awesome pancakes. I appreciate it. I love her recipes,” one woman said.

To learn more about WIC Education at the Food Bank of Delaware, please click here.

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