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Published On: Tue, Oct 24th, 2017

Healthy Kids: The Impact of the WIC Program

Life can be hard, and sometimes, there doesn’t seem to be a way out. Whether your bills are piling up or you are feeling the pressure of family life and work, it can be difficult to ask for help. However, with social programs such as WIC, it is possible to raise healthier children when times are tough.

What is WIC?

WIC is an American social program that helps women, infants and children. Fully known as the Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants and Children, it has been a cost-effective program that has helped improve the health of women and children across the country. How does WIC accomplish this hefty task so well? The program offers much more than a balanced diet of milk, eggs, and cheese.

These nutritious foods are often followed up with professional advice and education from expert dieticians. Mothers receive breastfeeding support, infant formula, and healthcare referrals for themselves and their children. Low-income families receive social services as a way to establish a strong lifeline for these women and children to help them succeed and live healthy lives. Women can begin to receive WIC during pregnancy, and their children receive benefits until their 5th birthday.

WIC Eligibility

For families to be eligible for WIC, they must have an income of no more than 185 percent of the U.S. poverty level. You may receive SNAP referrals through WIC once you join the program, or you may be suggested for the WIC program once you are eligible for and receive SNAP. It may be hard to see sometimes, but there is help for those who ask for it – helpful programs that want to see healthy babies become productive and happy children.

Benefits of WIC

It can be difficult in the current political and economic climate to know if you can rely on low-income programs and resources. However, WIC offers no reason to worry because it has helped nurse healthy families for over four decades. There are several important and life-changing benefits offered through the WIC program.

Children that participate in the WIC program are just as likely to be properly immunized and medically cared for as more affluent children. WIC also encourages parents to buy more fruits, vegetables, whole wheat, and other healthy foods once they are educated through the WIC program. Because breastfeeding is encouraged, WIC works with pediatricians to encourage mothers enrolled in the program to feed their children this way.

Raising Healthy Children

In their effort to make sure that infants and children grow up well, this often leads to higher levels of academic achievement as they grow older and reach school age. One vital aspect about the WIC program is that they understand the lasting effects of toxic stress in early life: all children, regardless of their parents’ income level, deserve a good start in life.

If you are interested in the WIC program, check your family’s own eligibility through the NY WIC resources. States all over the country remain dedicated to helping families grow healthier infants and children so that they can become healthy adults.

Author: Stephanie Green

 

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