WIC Program Benefits

WICBreastfeedingSupport

WIC is a nutrition program for you and your growing family.

There are four parts to the WIC program:

  • Nutrition Education. Nutrition information, tools and solutions for parenting, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.
  • Breastfeeding Support. To help you meet your goals.
  • Healthy Foods. WIC foods include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, peanut butter/beans, cereal, juice, infant foods and formula.
  • Healthcare Referrals. Personalized referrals to health services and other community resources.

Moms-to-be, new moms and babies

While you’re pregnant, WIC supports you to to learn about breastfeeding and newborn behavior. At your first appointment, we’ll schedule your mid-pregnancy check-in and nutrition activities.

Children up to age 5

As your baby grows, WIC is here to support your family and will see you about every 6 months until your child’s fifth birthday. In between appointments, you choose the nutrition activities that work best for you.

For more information, check out the VT WIC Program & Shopping Guide, also available in नेपाली (Nepali), Soomaali (Somali) and español (Spanish).

Getting Started: WIC Visits
WIC_Lifecycle WIC eligibility appointments

Your WIC appointments are scheduled about every 6 months. Each WIC appointment may include:

  • Income, Identity and Vermont Residency documentation
  • Growth and health assessment, including an iron check once a year
  • Nutrition consultation
  • Referrals to other health services and community resources
Nutrition Activities

Information, tools and support

In between WIC appointments, you complete a nutrition activity. Nutrition education is one of WIC’s most important benefits. Along with your monthly WIC foods, you’ll have what you need to grow a healthy family.

There are three types of WIC Nutrition Education activities. You choose the nutrition activity that best matches your learning style, interests and schedule. Completing two nutrition activities each year, between WIC appointments, will keep your WIC food benefit account active.

Local nutrition activities

Led by WIC staff or an expert community partner, we also offer workshops focused on cooking, shopping and good nutrition, as well as a series of monthly “Baby Behavior” talks, breastfeeding support groups and Fit WIC activities. These activities will help you maintain or improve your health through eating healthy and being active.

To find a list of nutrition activities in your area:

  • ask your WIC nutritionist,
  • check out local WIC Activities,
  • call your local WIC office.

In-Person Counseling

Ask your WIC staff about your personal nutrition goals. You can make an appointment to fit your schedule or even meet by phone.

You and your WIC nutritionist can develop an individualized nutrition care plan that includes goals you choose together like:  

  • How to gain the right amount during pregnancy, and return to pre-pregnancy weight after your baby is born?
  • How to breastfeed and start your baby on solid foods?
  • How to help your toddler grow well and be active?

Online Learning

Complete lessons anytime, anywhere you have internet access.Visit the WICHealth.org website any day, any time:

WICHealth.org is WIC’s online nutrition education resource. Choose from a variety of topics and lessons when it’s convenient for you.

  • Use a computer, smartphone or tablet
  • Lessons count as you WIC Nutrition Education Activity
  • Find and complete lessons anywhere you have internet access
  • Visit the Health eKitchen section for recipes and cooking videos.

You’ll need your 6-digit WIC household ID number to create an account on wichealth.org. If you don’t have it, call your local WIC office.

Step 1: Set up your account

  1. Go to www.wichealth.org
  2. Click the “Sign Up” button
  3. Select Vermont as your State
  4. Choose your Agency (Agency = your local WIC office)
  5. Choose your Clinic (Clinic = your local WIC office)
  6. Enter your 6-digit WIC household ID (If your household ID has only 5-digits, type a “0” in front.) (My WIC ID is: _____________ )
  7. Choose a Username _____________________ and Password __________________, enter your Email and answer to a Security Question. Write these down so you remember them.
  8. Click ”Register”
  9. Enter information about you and your child and click the “Finish Profile” button.

Step 2: Complete a Lesson

  1. Login to www.wichealth.org
  2. Click “Start Lesson”
  3. Click one of the available lesson categories.
  4. Click on one of the available lessons.

Example lessons:

  • Starting Your Infant on Solid Foods
  • Make Meals and Snacks Simple
  • Secrets for Feeding Picky Eaters
  • Saving Time with No Cook Recipes
  1. Follow instructions to complete lesson
  2. Answer End of Lesson questions
  3. Click “Submit” to receive your certificate - it will also be sent to your local WIC office
WIC Breastfeeding Support

WIC Breastfeeding Support WidgetYou already know that breastfeeding is best for you and your baby. WIC is here to support moms to reach their breastfeeding goals.

Knowledge + Support + Confidence = Success

You can do it!

Learn about breastfeeding. Read. Attend classes. Talk to your WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor and other breastfeeding supporters.

Enlist help and plan ahead. Share plans with your family and friends. Work with your doctor and employer to get the support and help you need to be successful.

Be confident. Most moms make the right amount of milk for their babies. Your milk is perfect for your baby at every stage of development.

WIC Can Help!

We’re here to help moms succeed. WIC offers:

  • Extra WIC foods for breastfeeding moms
  • Breastfeeding peer counselors (available in some offices)
  • Referrals to community lactation consultants and other support services
  • Breast pumps
  • Breastfeeding groups and classes

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends feeding your baby only breast milk until age 6 months, and breast milk plus solid foods from 6 - 12 months and beyond. Whether you’re looking for support as you and your baby are learning to breastfeed, or as you’re preparing to go back to work or school, you can rely on WIC to help you every step of the way.

You are better able to meet your breastfeeding goals when you:

  • Set a personal breastfeeding goal
  • Discuss your breastfeeding plans with your prenatal health care provider at every visit.
  • Talk about breastfeeding with your family and friends.
  • Learn about hospital practices important for breastfeeding and share your infant feeding plan with hospital staff and support team.
  • Contact WIC for breastfeeding support
  • Get referrals to community lactation experts, like WIC breastfeeding peer counselors.

When breastfeeding is important to you, plan for success. You Can Do It, WIC Can Help! Use the resources we’ve developed to expand your knowledge, build your confidence and connect with resources in your community.

breastfeeding for working moms

Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, and continued breastfeeding with the addition of complementary foods for at least the first year of your baby's life, results in lifetime health benefits for you and your baby. Breastfeeding, the key to good health for mothers and babies, also significantly benefits families, employers, and our communities. Learn more about Vermont's breastfeeding laws, returning to work and Vermont's Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Project.

 

Healthy Foods

Each family member enrolled in WIC gets a monthly food package designed to meet their nutrition needs. The amounts and types of foods depend on if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and the age of your infant or child.

WIC foods are added to your account the 1st of the month on a 3-month cycle after completing a WIC appointment or nutrition activity.

Use your family’s Vermont WIC card to purchase your WIC foods at the grocery store. The WIC card works just like a debit card but is specific for your WIC food account.

You can shop throughout the month at any WIC authorized grocery store. Find a complete list of stores at Shopping with WIC.

See Shopping with WIC for more information on how to shop for your WIC foods.

 

WIC Food categories

  • Milk - 1% or skim for everyone over age 2, whole milk for children 12-24 months
  • Whole Grains – Whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat or corn tortillas
  • Yogurt – Low-fat or non-fat yogurt for women and children over age 2, Whole milk yogurt for children 12-24 months
  • Cheese – Regular and low-fat varieties
  • Eggs – Medium or large
  • Fruits and Vegetables – Fresh, frozen or canned
  • 100% Fruit Juice – Refrigerated, frozen concentrate or shelf stable bottles
  • Breakfast Cereal – Whole grain and regular, low in sugar, high in iron, hot and cold varieties
  • Legumes - Peanut butter, canned or dry beans
  • Tofu and Soy Milk Beverage – Calcium set tofu, fortified soy milk beverage
  • Infant Formula for infants who are not breastfeeding, or partially breastfeeding
  • Baby Food Fruits and Vegetables for your 6-12 month old baby
  • Baby Food Meats for fully breastfeeding infants 6-12 months old
Healthcare Referrals & Community Programs

WIC is part of your community. WIC connects you to healthcare providers, community organizations and other local resources. These may include:

3SquaresVT and other food resources

Pregnancy and pediatric care

Dental care

Help to quit smoking

Drug and alcohol counseling

Immunizations

Home visiting

Head Start and preschool programs

Call WIC anytime to find the local resources you need for your family.

Are there other programs for families who get WIC? 

Many WIC families are enrolled in other related programs and services, such as:

  • Medicaid & Dr. Dynasaur – Medicaid is a jointly-funded, federal-state health insurance program. In Vermont, Medicaid insurance programs for pregnant women and for children up to age 18 are known collectively as the Dr. Dynasaur program. For information about Dr. Dynasaur and other Medicaid coverage, call (toll-free within Vermont) 800-250-8427.
  • 3SquaresVT Program – 3SquaresVT (formerly Food Stamps) is a nutrition assistance program that provides benefits for the purchase of nutritious food to income-eligible people and their families. For more information about the 3SquaresVT, call (toll-free within Vermont) 1-800-479-6151.
  • Public Health Dental Hygienist Program – The Public Health Dental Hygienist program provides families enrolled in WIC with the opportunity to meet with a dental hygienist to receive oral health information, and help finding a local dental practice that accepts their insurance. Currently five of the 12 Local Health WIC programs participate in the PHDH program. Public health dental hygienists are also available to work with local health care providers to integrate dental and oral health as part of prenatal and pediatric health care, and to help dental care providers feel comfortable treating children beginning at age one.

Find More Resources

Other WIC Nutrition Resources

WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program 

The Farmers Market Nutrition Program provides fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables to WIC participants, and seeks to expand the awareness, use of, and sales at farmers’ markets.

Growing Healthy Families Newsletter

WIC publishes and mails a quarterly newsletter to every WIC family, Growing Healthy Families.

WIC2Five text message service

Sign up for WIC2Five, Vermont WIC’s text message service. Get 2 messages each week to help you make the most of your child’s first five years. WIC2Five sends you text messages specific to your child’s age and stage of development; helpful parenting tips; health and nutrition information, appointment reminders and more! Signing up is easy – just ask your local office to sign you up today.     

Text4baby 

VDH and WIC are happy to partner with Zero to Three to promote their text4baby initiative. Text4baby is a free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health. An educational program of the Zero to Three, text4baby provides pregnant women and new moms with information to help them care for their health and give their babies the best possible start in life. Sign up for the service by texting BABY to 511411 (or BEBE in Spanish) and receive free SMS text messages each week, timed to your due date or baby’s date of birth.

text4baby

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.