WIC is your go-to resource for eating well, staying active and being healthy. WIC supports you with tips for healthier eating, breastfeeding and being physically active, along with providing wholesome food choices for your family. WIC foods are changing with the times, offering more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lower-fat dairy and protein options. And, shopping for WIC foods at the grocery store with your eWIC card means choice, convenience and flexibility. Learn more about the many benefits WIC offers and get started with WIC today to learn more about eating well and staying healthy!
There's no manual for parenthood. We've gathered information to create your own, including the tools you need to make healthy choices that work for you and your family.
Nurturing your family's appetite for nutritious foods begins with breastfeeding and making your own baby foods, and evolves from cooking for your child to cooking with your child, handing down food memories and traditions along the way.
Teach Your Child About Healthy Foods
Tell them how foods help them grow and make them strong. Grains give them energy to grow and learn. Whole grains have fiber to keep them healthy inside. Vegetables and fruits help them fight sickness and stay fit. Milk makes their bones and teeth strong. Meats and beans give them healthy blood and strong muscles. Best of all, show them by eating these foods too!
Learn more about a variety of nutrition and health topics at WIChealth.org - WIC’s online nutrition education resource. Connect with your Local Health Office to set up an account using your WIC Family ID number. For recipes and cooking videos using WIC foods, check out WIC Health's Health eKitchen section.
Need help making the most of your WIC foods? We've got the tools you need to incorporate wholesome WIC foods into your menus and to prepare healthy meals for your family. Our nutritionists can work with you to turn whole grain pasta into a dinner that your child will eat…and even love. Maybe you're looking for ways to work beans or more fruits and vegetables into your menus? We've got you covered! Check out the recipes below that use WIC foods, or call your Local Health Office to connect with a WIC Nutritionist for more ideas.
When you select whole grains, choose whole wheat bread, whole wheat or corn tortillas, brown rice or whole wheat pasta. You can mix and match these choices up to the total number of ounces available on your WIC card each month. If you’re new to using whole grains, start by making simple switches. Try whole grains in place of refined grains products; whole wheat pasta in your favorite macaroni and cheese or spaghetti recipe. Or try corn tortillas for enchiladas and whole wheat tortillas for quesadillas.
- Brown rice recipes (also available in Burmese, Français (French), Ikirundi (Kirundi), नेपाली (Nepali), Soomaali (Somali), and Kiswahili (Swahili), plus more brown rice recipes
- Whole wheat pasta recipes
- Whole wheat and corn tortilla recipes
Canned or dried beans, lentils and split peas can boost nutrition and fiber in your recipes. You can choose between beans and peanut butter each month, so if your little one is tired of PB&J, try making black bean quesadillas or lentil soup to change it up!
Fruits and Vegetables
Make the most of your fruit and vegetable dollars. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season for the best quality and flavor. Stock up when the vegetables or fruits you use often are on sale, or when the large size bag is a better buy. For quick side dishes and less prep time, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are convenient, easy to store and recipe ready. Purchase canned or frozen fruits and vegetables when they are on sale since they last a long time.
Teach your child to love fruits and vegetables. Bring them grocery shopping and let them select a new fruit or vegetable to try. Cook together and show your child how to tear lettuce or add vegetable toppings to a pizza. Take fruit and veggie snacks with you on outings and keep cut up veggies in the refrigerator for ready-to-eat snacks. Let your child see you eating and enjoying fruits and vegetables for meals and snacks.
More Tips for Preparing Fruits & Veggies
- WIChealth.org's Health eKitchen – an online library of recipes and videos for cooking with WIC foods
- Choose My Plate – My Plate is a guide for healthier eating. Sign up for daily or weekly emails from My Plate for nutrition tips and recipes
- ChopChop – Pick up a copy of the ChopChop magazine at your WIC office or go online for healthy, simple and tasty recipes you can make and enjoy with your family. Join the ChopChop Cooking Club to receive a new recipe to try every month
- Healthy in a Snap – Tips and tools for shopping, cooking and healthier eating on a budget
- Let's Cook with Kids – Cookbook with simple recipes and tips for cooking with your kids
- Good and Cheap – Eating Well on $4/Day – a beautiful cookbook with recipes for healthy foods you can make on a limited budget. You can also find the recipes on the author, Leanne Brown's website.
- What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl – Search from a large selection of recipes, create your own cookbook, or watch videos to learn how to prepare heathy foods for your family.
- WIC Works Resource Center – Meal Planning, Preparation & Recipes - Links to a variety of websites and resources for menu planning and cooking.
- WIC Shopper App – Recipes – Find recipes that incorporate WIC foods. Access from your computer, or on your tablet or Smartphone using the WIC Shopper app that also comes in handy when you are shopping for WIC foods at the grocery store.
Play Every Day
The Fit WIC Activity resources are your guide to having fun with your child. The main idea is to play and be active everyday! Teaching play skills that support their growth and development and give them opportunities to practice and improve their jump shot. Fit WIC also promotes getting to know places in your community where you can be active with your family. Build a lifetime love of being active - You got this!
Fit WIC encourages you and your family to play every day with ideas for indoor and outdoor play, building skills, and finding new places to visit. Learn more about playing with your child and exploring your community with Fit WIC.
- Activity Book
- Activity Pyramid
- Playing with Your Baby
- Playing with Your Toddler
- Playing with Your Preschooler
- Education Guide
FitWIC Activity Pyramid
The Activity Pyramid is built on a foundation of everyday activities, from simply going outside to play and helping around the house, to walking the dog and raking leaves or shoveling snow. Try to get outside to play everyday with your child and to include them in a variety of helping activities that are part of your daily routine. Children need 60 minutes or more each day of unstructured playtime, where they are free to be active and use their imaginations. Just going outside is a great way to encourage this kind of play. The Everyday Activity Pages section of the book offers ideas for turning routine housework into a game.Take advantage of your child’s natural activity level by teaching them to help you inside and outside. Children like being helpful! . Start with the easiest ones for younger children and help your older child master the harder jobs.
It's important to teach your child play skills that support gross and fine motor development. See the Skill Building Play section for ideas to make chores into something fun. Check out WIC's quarterly Fun and Games page.
It feels good to be active. Small amounts of physical activity throughout the day add up; play several times each day with your child and you'll feel great too! Children like to be active — keep them moving as much as possible every day. Your child doesn’t need to play for 60 minutes all at once, most young children do best with shorter periods of active play throughout the day.
Everyday Activites your child can help with:
- picking up toys
- making beds (pull up the covers, fluff the pillow)
- sorting, folding and carrying laundry
- helping wash, dry and put away dishes, pots & pans
- carrying and putting away groceries
- helping cook (wash fruit, make salad)
- setting the table for family meals
- raking leaves
- stacking firewood or pick up kindling
- helping walk the dog
This winter, plan for one hour each day to be outside; walk to your favorite skating park, build a snow person, or shovel a path to the woodpile and carry in some firewood. Remember - small amounts of activity throughout the day add up - you don’t have to be out for the whole hour at one time! Use your imagination to create new activities and memories!
Preschoolers learn by moving, imitating and following examples. Children also need at least 60 minutes a day of structured play, where you are there helping them practice physical skills. In the middle section of the pyramid are ideas for helping your child learn specific skills, such as balancing, throwing, jumping and climbing. Plan for active time in your child’s day to help develop play skills.
Special Outings and Exploring
Special outings can offer variety to your week and be fun for the whole family. Introduce your child to the local library to check out some new books, visit the farmers' market to find the first sugar snap peas, explore a new park in a search for the biggest slide or the greenest grass or attend a special event in your community. Break up the routine and have fun!
- WIC Activities in your Community - see the next section for an updated list of nutrition activities in your community, or visit your Local Health Office's WIC page
- Building Bright Futures for information about upcoming playgroups and other family evens in your community.
- Fit & Healthy Kids
- Find and Go Seek for information about weekend events, after-school activities, camps, festivals, story times and so much more that are happening in Northern Vermont.
- Let's Move for information and support to help parents make healthy choices for their families and their communities.
- Park Finder to find forests and parks near you that offer a wide variety of outdoor activities.
- National Wildlife Federation Nature Find to find information on nature places and events near you.
- Map of Play to find a playground or kid’s park near you.
Fit WIC Reading and Singing
Choose books that tell a story about running and jumping, or suggest movement, such as dancing to stimulate your child's imagination and physical activity. Make up songs based on books with rhymes and clap out a rhythm. Explore titles at your local library and bring home a new stack each week.
To help your child settle down after active play, try to develop a regular cool down routine. Here are some ideas:
- Offer your child a refreshing glass of water.
- Offer your child a favorite comfort.
- Offer to read your child a story — choose an old favorite, try a new story about growing food or cooking or share a family story about your favorite food traditions!
Teach your child a special signal that lets them know it’s time to cool down — this could be clapping your hands, holding up 2 fingers in the air, or singing a familiar song like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” Use this signal every time it’s time to settle down.
Childcare providers (and parents, too!) can learn more about healthy eating and physical activity by going to our Child Care and Early Learning page.
Fit WIC encourages your family to play everyday! We can’t wait to see how they grow!
WIC's monthly e-newsletter – keeping Vermont WIC families up-to-date on events, nutrition and health information, recipes and new products in a format that is easy to access, interactive and environmentally friendly. Interested in receiving to your inbox? Contact your Local Health Office to share your email address.