Baby News and WIC Approved

I think I mentioned last week that there were some changes in my family I was not yet ready to discuss…and NO, it is not me who is pregnant!

But my sister is nearly 9 weeks along, and will be having a baby sometime in the spring.

Because she is 19 and doesn’t have a full-time job, or an income that could adequately take care of herself or a child, she was put on WIC to help meet her nutritional needs.

Now before Linds became a part of the WIC program, I didn’t really know much about it. I had seen the little red tags at the grocery store, but didn’t really pay attention to what they meant or who they helped, but yesterday Lindsay and I had our first WIC shopping experience, and I must say, I am a big fan of how its run and the idea behind it.

Lindsay was allocated “checks” or vouchers for SPECIFIC foods based on her dietary and monetary needs. On each check it is specifically written what food is allowed and what exact type. For example you cannot simply get bread, you must get WIC approved, whole grain bread, 16 ounces or one loaf. Milk must be low-fat cows milk unless otherwise clarified on paper, but I did check it out further, just out of curiosity since I personally enjoy almond milk, and you could get a milk substitute if approved by the physician.

So after reading the information on the vouchers, seeing that you are allowed your loaf of whole grain bread, you are scanning the shelves and will notices that only certain brains are considered WIC approved. But I was surprised to see that it wasn’t just store brands allocated. Brands like Arnold, Weight Watchers, and Dutch Valley were also included. In the cereal aisle, she is permitted 3 boxes per month which she has to get all at one time (because as I learned, if you do not use what is on the voucher, you forfeit that item…you cant just take the items still left on the check home for another trip). As we are walking down the cereal aisle, which completely overwhelms me on a normal basis because there are 098604975948 million choices, finding the little red sticker is like being on a scavenger hunt, BUT I was pleasantly surprised to see the awesome varieties she can chose! The most “sugary” of her options was Frosted Mini-Wheats but the rest included, Oatmeal Squares (YES, I have a love for those after HLS!) Cheerios, Crispix, Rice Krispies, Grape Nuts, Bran Flakes, Special K, etc. There were seriously a ton of options! But all were relatively healthy choices. There weren’t any Fruity Pebbles or Captain Crunch, which Lindsay informed me was because when she actually applied for the vouchers, she was required to meet with a nutritionist to evaluate her personal needs (she has low iron) and talk about foods that benefit the baby. To me, this program was sounding better and better!

She was also allowed 4 cans of beans and a carton of eggs as her “meat” groups, and the BEST, was $10 total to spend on fruits and vegetables, pretty much any way she wanted. She could get fresh, frozen or canned produce, as long as there was no added sugars. Obviously the more expensive choice was fresh but she asked if she could get bananas, a small watermelon and grapes because they were on special, and honestly, I am not going to argue with her when she is asking for such nutrient rich options. She used to bring home Gushers and Fruit Roll-Ups and call them her fruit group.

Other items she was allowed were All Natural Peanut Butter, 100% Juice, and Cheese. Some of the groceries were only to be purchased on a monthly basis, like the cereal, and others were every couple weeks, like the milk.

Anything you spend over the checks is your responsibility to pay for, so when we got to the check-out and had pretty much a belt full of stuff, I was thinking we would have to pay at least $5 more than the check allowed. After the cashier rung everything up, and used our Bonus Card (you are encouraged to use these with the WIIC program so I definitely checked out the circulars to find the best deals) the overage was only 9 cents!!! I was really really impressed. She got a cart full of nutritionally balanced items that could easily translate into meals, for way less than $1.

I wish I could help Linds more financially, but with Ryan going back to school, it just wasn’t in our budget. I am thankful for the WIIC program not only because it is helping my sister pay her bills while she is in the process of looking for a more lucrative job (she is currently a cashier at Giant and works for me at the pool) but it is also teaching her budgeting skills, and way better eating habits.

Before she only consumed white bread, full-fat milk, excess sugar and soda. But obviously having to care of another life, has really made her evaluate what is important…she was asking me a ton of questions about what vitamins and nutrients she and the baby need!

I am in full support of the WIIC program, and if you ever are in the position where you need it, it really is relatively easy to follow and provides good foods for you and the baby. She has her first major doctor’s appointment this week, where we will find out an approximate due date, etc. At first we were super nervous and protective because she is young and doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life, but ever since we found out nearly three weeks ago she has been doing great.

Do I think the situation is ideal? No probably not. But I am proud of her for trying her best and as her sister, Ill try to support her in any way I can. After all, we all go through tough times and my family has been there for me when I needed them most; that’s what we do for those we love, but I know absolutely NOTHING about being pregnant, having a baby around, eating for two, ANYTHING, so if you have any advice you wanna throw my way, it would be MUCH appreciated!

I hope you guys have an excellent start to the weekend! I have a very fun event planned for tomorrow that I cannot wait to tell you about later! Happy Friday!!!

Has anyone shopped using WIIC? What did you think?

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10 thoughts on “Baby News and WIC Approved

  1. I agree, I think the WIIC program is amazing! I know some people that use it and has helped them tremendously.. and the fact that they have a nutritionist involved is invaluable. You are being a wonderful sister and just remember, not one situations is always ideal. There always will be little bumps in the road, but if everyone sticks together…. beautiful things will blossom! Keep being a great support system. I know she appreciates it. Btw, the pumpkin chili below looks scrumptious 😉

  2. That’s so fascinating, I’d never even heard of a program like that before! I think it’s fantastic — not only are you ensuring that the expecting mother is feeding her baby at all, but it ensures that she feed it RIGHT. How great! I know it’s not an ideal situation but you are being an incredibly supportive sister in the ways you are able to. You’re going to be a fantastic aunt, CJ! 🙂

  3. You are a terrifically wonderfully supportive sister….Linds is so fortunate to have your loving concern…my hat goes off to both of you working hard to make sure a healthy little bambino comes into the world….you are the BEST!!

  4. My sister was pregnant at 15 and had her baby at 16. I remember shopping with her when she was on WIC. At the time, I was very angry with her for not doing things the “right way” but decided to support her regardless. She and her now fiance have seriously turned into greater parents than any established, married couple I’ve ever known of. My niece Ava starts kindergarden on Monday and she has been the greatest gift in the world to our entire family. Good luck to you and your sister!!!

    • Brittany! Thank you so much for telling me that story! that makes me feel so much better about the situation! I just worry about how hard i will be but I am really glad your sister and her husband made it work so well!!! How are you doing? Where are you living and what are you up to?! i havent seen you in forever!

  5. You will love being an aunt. They just had their second (this one planned lol) and I am obsessed with those babies haha. If you ever have any questions please feel free to reach out!! I’ve been doing well. Lilving in Mt. Joy and working in Harrisburg at the same Firm I worked for in college. I had to deactivate my old fb and open a new one….I discovered your blog in the process of finding my former fb friends. You’ve done a wonderful job w/your site!!

    • Thank you so much! its nice that you say that! I started writing to stay on track with my own recovery and then fell in love with it! hopefully ill catch up with you soon 🙂

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