Comparison of Food Intake Among Infants and Toddlers Participating in a South Central Texas WIC Program Reveals Some Improvements After WIC Package Changes
By Reat A, Crixell S, Friedman B, Von Bank J
In 2009, WIC began issuing revised food packages with the intent of improving dietary practices such as breastfeeding, delaying the introduction of complementary foods until about 6 months, limiting juice intake, and increasing intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and baby food meats as appropriate for age. This observational study investigated whether dietary intake and feeding practices of a sample of majority-Hispanic infants and toddlers participating in a WIC clinic in south central Texas improved after the package changes. Feeding practices data and 24-h recalls were collected during telephone interviews with 84 caregivers of infants (4–12 months) and toddlers (1–2 years) in 2009 before the package change and with 112 caregivers in 2011 after the package change. The Nutrition Data System for Research was used to collect 24-h recalls. Outcomes for the two study years were compared using Chi square analysis for categorical and Mann–Whitney U analysis for continuous variables. Breastfeeding initiation, breastfeeding duration, age of introduction of complementary foods, and exposures to baby food fruits, vegetables, and meats among infants did not improve after the package changes. Significantly fewer infants received cereal in their bottles and fewer toddlers consumed vegetables and eggs after the package changes. The observed feeding practices of infants and toddlers among this sample did not reflect the WIC package changes. Strategic and comprehensive breastfeeding and nutrition education are recommended. Package modifications such as adding eggs back to the toddler package and allowing more flexibility for purchasing fresh produce and baby foods may be warranted.
November 15, 2017
Reat A, Crixell S, Friedman B, Von Bank J (2015) 'Comparison of Food Intake Among Infants and Toddlers Participating in a South Central Texas WIC Program Reveals Some Improvements After WIC Package Changes'. Maternal & Child Health Journal: Vol. 19, Issue 8, pp. 1834-1841. Available online: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10995-015-1697-y