Something wonderful happened in KC last week and very few people noticed. This change will positively affect the lives and health outcomes of thousands of residents.
Last week the KCMO Health Department in partnership with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the most comprehensive change in more than thirty years to the WIC (Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) program.
Under the new rules:
– WIC clients can purchase whole grains and fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables
– Beginning at 6 months of age, all infants receive infant fruits and vegetables, while fully breastfed infants also receive infant meats.
– Juice is eliminated for infants
– Canned beans are offered as an alternative to milk, with medical documentation
– The amount of infant formula is reduced for partially breastfed and older infants
– Increases in the amount of food are provided to mothers who breastfeed their babies full time to better promote and support the establishment of successful long-term breastfeeding.
State health officials believe breastfeeding is the healthiest option for both babies and moms. The state WIC director Lyn Konstant says “breast milk contains all the nutrients a baby needs for the first six months and reduces the risk of allergies, diabetes and certain childhood cancers. Babies who are breastfed have lower rates of obesity as they grow older. Breastfeeding also helps a new mother lose the weight she gained during pregnancy.”
To learn more about the WIC program to determine if you qualify please go to the state WIC web site: http://www.dhss.mo.gov/wic For more information on local WIC clinic hours please call 816-513-6360 or visit the KCMO Health Department web site: http://www.kcmo.org/health