Participants receive checks each month that are used to buy specific nutritious foods at grocery stores. WIC food packages are issued to participants based on their nutritional needs. WIC supplements participant’s diets with these nutritious foods:
- Dried or canned beans
- Peanut butter
- Whole grain bread, tortillas or brown rice
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
WIC encourages women to breastfeed as the most nutritious way to feed their babies. Mothers who fully breastfeed their babies are issued a larger food package that includes canned light tuna, pink salmon, or sardines. Totally breastfed babies will receive infant cereal and jars of baby food fruits, vegetables, and meats at six months of age.
Infants who are not breastfed receive supplemental amounts of iron-fortified formula, and beginning at six months of age, they will receive infant cereal and jars of baby food fruits and vegetables.
Good nutrition is essential to good health, and the Indiana WIC Program offers a range of health and nutrition education services for families to help participants put healthy behaviors into action. Nutrition education is provided in Indiana through various methods, including one-on-one contacts, group classes, and individual learning modules. These services are customized to each family's needs and interests and include:
- Infant feeding
- Prenatal Weight Gain
- Postpartum Weight Loss
- Picky Eaters
A specific function of the Indiana WIC certification process is to make referrals for Medicaid and other social service programs. Although the Indiana WIC Program does not provide health care, Indiana WIC will refer all applicants to health care providers as appropriate. Some of the referrals include:
- Food Stamps
- Maternal and Child Health Programs
- Expanded Food and Nutrition Program offered by Cooperative Extension Services
- Hoosier Healthwise
- Healthy Families
- County Health Departments for Immunizations
- Child Support Enforcement
- Local Drug Treatment Centers
- Doctor's Offices including Private Offices and Community Health Centers
- Local Food Pantries and Shelters
Participants receive encouragement and instruction in breastfeeding. In many cases, breastfeeding women are provided breast pumps free of charge. WIC helps participants learn why breastfeeding is the best start for their baby, how to breastfeed while still working, dad’s role in supporting breastfeeding, tips for teens who breastfeed, how to pump and store breastmilk, and much more.