The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Public Health today announced new foods are available for purchase with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The approved food list was updated in response to a federal final rule revising the WIC food packages to better meet the nutritional needs of WIC participants and to encourage healthier eating habits.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture finalized changes to the WIC food packages based on the latest nutrition science,” stressed Dr. Rahul Gupta, Bureau for Public Health Commissioner and State Health Officer.“These updates make improvements to the program to better meet the diverse nutritional needs of mothers and their young children. Plus, WIC foods and nutrition education are the chief means by which WIC affects the dietary quality and habits of participants.”

Today’s announcement marks the completion of the first comprehensive revisions to the West Virginia WIC approved food list since2010. The revisions reflect WIC participant comments submitted in response to surveys as well as authorized retailer contributions through an advisory council.

“The July 2015 WV WIC Approved Food List provides more participant choice and a wider variety of foods,” said Cindy Pillo, West Virginia WIC Director. “Foods such as whole wheat tortillas, brown rice, whole wheat hamburger and hotdog buns, as well as a wider choice of breakfast cereals, soy-based beverages and canned beans provide healthier choices to meet the needs of pregnant women, new mothers, infants and young children during critical periods of growth and development.”

WIC provides pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, infants, and children up to age five with nutritious, supplemental foods. The program also provides nutrition and breastfeeding education and referrals to health and social services.

To view the new food list, please visit , or call the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department WIC Program at (304) 234-3888.