Sometimes we all need a treat, and this one is perfect for a weekend snack or breakfast. Let your kiddos help you with this one in the kitchen. They can help mix in a few ingredients, stir the batter or just spend time with the family in the kitchen. This special treat also has a few WIC ingredients (milk, egg, and berries).
Lemon Blueberry Muffins
2 cups of blueberries, fresh or frozen (You can also substitute a mix of berries of your choice)
1 stick of butter
½ cup milk
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup, 1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 375. Zest a lemon over a stick of softened butter. Add one cup of sugar and beat together until light and fluffy, then add the egg and vanilla extract and beat again until mixed. Toss the berries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk remaining flour into the batter along with the baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients a little at a time, while alternating with the milk, and beat until creamy. Fold in the blueberries gently with a spatula. Transfer the batter into a lightly greased 12 piece muffin pan and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and add remaining sugar on top of each muffin. Return to the oven for about 5 minutes or until muffins are lightly browned on top and sugar has caramelized. Let cool for 5 – 10 minutes then serve. Makes 12 muffins
Babies grow up fast. Each month they hit new milestones and make even more progress toward becoming little toddlers. Food from Texas WIC can help them grow healthy and strong.
One of the biggest milestones is graduating from bottles to bites. After months of breastfeeding and bottles, your little one might be ready to transition to table food.
It may seem daunting, but this can be a really exciting time for parents and kids to start exploring the world of food.
There are so many flavors, textures and food adventures around the corner. As stressful as it may seem, this stage can be a lot of fun. Don’t worry if it seems you have gotten into a food fight with your toddler. It’s all part of the learning process. Here are a few tips to help you navigate this next phase.
READY, SET GO – FIRST BITES
Are you wondering if your baby is ready to try table food? Make sure to discuss any feeding transitions with your Texas WIC nutritionist or doctors before making this big change.
Once you get the OK from a professional, let the fun begin. Wondering where to start? Popular first food choices are baby cereal, apple sauce, mashed bananas or even avocados. Make sure the food is soft and has a “paste” like consistency.
In the beginning it is best to stick to introducing only one new food at a time. This makes it easier to know which foods your baby may have had trouble tolerating. Whether you are starting with baby cereal or baby food, try introducing one flavor at a time.
Remember, babies have tine appetites and only require a few teaspoons at a time, WIC experts recommend.
HITTING SPEED BUMPS
If your baby doesn’t like a certain food at first, try, try, try again. It isn’t uncommon for a little one not to like a food when it is first introduced, but to come around to it later.
Once you know your baby tolerates certain foods, different flavors can be mixed together to make bites a little more interesting. A few good combinations are sweet potatoes and peas, apples and bananas or scrambled eggs.
Be on the lookout for food allergies, which can occur between two minutes to hours of feedings, according to Texas WIC. Some of the most common to cause reactions, but experts warn any foods can cause allergies: dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, nuts, fish and shellfish.
Hives, red skin and face swelling are a few signs of reactions, but Texas WIC offers even more details about food allergies online. If your baby is having several signs of reaction or is having trouble breathing, call 911, according to Texas WIC.
Texas WIC has resources to make feeding your baby easier. Everything from counseling to online classes can help along the way. Be sure to reach out if you have questions. Be sure to talk to a professional about any concerns or questions about your specific situation and baby.
Cuddle up with the family and watch the Disney movie Ratatouille while having some ratatouille for dinner! This recipe is an easy comfort food that includes lots of veggies and goes perfect with garlic bread.
4 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves (minced)
1/2 small onion (chopped)
1/3 cup shredded carrots
14 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 small eggplant (thinly sliced, about ⅛ inch thick)
1 zucchini (thinly sliced, about ⅛ inch thick)
1 yellow squash (thinly sliced, about ⅛ inch thick)
3 Roma tomatoes (thinly sliced, about ⅛ inch thick)
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried parsley
salt (to taste)
black pepper (to taste)
Parmesan cheese (shredded)
Try to use the freshest produce possible, not those tomatoes that look like you should use them up before they go bad. You want the ratatouille to have a nice, even texture and the vegetables are easier to slice when they are fresh. Slice the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash & tomatoes as evenly as possible to ensure they cook evenly in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 375F. In a large nonstick pan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat. Add in the onion, garlic, and carrot and cook about 5 – 7 minutes until tender.
Next, add in the crushed tomatoes and seasonings, simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Once the sauce has thickened, pour into a 2 quart baking dish.
Arrange the sliced vegetables in a circular pattern standing upright in the dish over the sauce. Brush with the remaining olive oil.
Cover and bake for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake until vegetables are tender and easily pierced with a fork.
Sprinkle shredded parmesan cheese evenly on top and serve immediately.
Tasty Tip: Garlic bread is a perfect addition to this recipe!
Expanded WIC Approved Fruits and Vegetables Benefit Extended Thru September
Texas WIC has extended it’s expanded fruit and vegetable benefits thru the end of September. Now clients can get even more WIC approved fruits and vegetables.
According to WIC, the new WIC approved fruits and vegetables benefit is currently:
Children get $24 each month
Pregnant, postpartum and some breastfeeding clients get $43 each month
Fully and partially breastfeeding clients get $47 each month.
For example, if you are pregnant and have two children (ages 1-5) receiving WIC, you will get $91 ($43 mom + $24 child + $24 child = $91) each month in April, May and June to buy fruit and vegetables, according to WIC.
WIC clients should contact a local WIC office if they have questions about these benefits.
The expanded WIC fruit and vegetable benefits are expected to return to $11 for pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women and $9 for children Oct. 1.
Salads don’t have to be boring. In fact, they can be so refreshing and tasty that your toddler might even be asking for more.
Sometimes salads get a bad reputation. After all, they are made mostly with vegetables. If you aren’t a salad lover, we have a few ideas that might change your mind. If you already love a nice crisp salad a few tips to change things up might be just what you need. They are also a healthy side or quick meal and are a great way to eat healthy WIC foods.
Here are a few tips that will make your salad a little extra special.
ADD FRESH FRUIT
Adding sliced fresh apples or mandarins, really add something unexpected to a lettuce and tomato salad. Mangos, fresh berries, and watermelon can also be a wonderful addition. Add some of your favorites for extra color and taste.
Grated or crumbled cheese of your choice is a great salad topper. Try anything from shredded cheddar to cubed mozzarella. It also adds great nutrition to your meal in a bowl.
ADD HOMEMADE SALAD DRESSING
The healthiest, and the most cost-effective salad dressings are the ones you make yourself. Plus, they are super simple and fast and taste a lot more delicious.
To make your own, here are a few ingredients you will want to have on hand. Of course, they won’t all go into the same recipe, but they are fun to mix and match to find the perfect combination. Some great dressing ingredients include: lemon juice, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, oil such as olive oil, honey mustard, and seasonings (such as garlic powder, black pepper, and Italian seasonings.)
Drained canned beans, boiled eggs, and canned tuna are great protein toppers for summer salads. They aren’t heavy but provide a healthy protein punch to your meal.
ADD EXTRA CRUNCH
Depending on the flavor of your salad, it’s fun to add a little extra crunch like baked tortilla strips made homemade with tortillas. Simply take a corn tortilla and brush it with the oil of your choice. Slice it up and bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees (turning halfway) until they are nice and crispy.
VEGETABLES ARE WIC FOODS – TRY THIS SALAD RECIPE
SUMMER APPLE SALAD
1 bag of fresh salad mix
2 apples, chopped
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
¼ onion, chopped
Homemade Apple Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
APPLE CIDAR VINAIGRETTE
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk or add all ingredients to a mason jar, close the lid, and shake. Pour as much as you would like over your salad.
PICK UP YOUR VEGETABLES & OTHER WIC FOODS AT GROCERY SERVICES NORTH
Get all your summer salad ingredients at Grocery Services North. All 9 locations in Dallas and Waco are conveniently located near WIC clinics for easy WIC grocery shopping. Everything in the store is WIC approved. Find a location near you today.
Vegetables are WIC foods. Plus, WIC is also currently offering expanded fruit and vegetable benefits. Learn more here.
Summer is in full swing. Que the fireworks because this July 4th is going to be HOT! We have summer WIC foods and fun activities your plans this holiday weekend.
If you are ready to kick off July 4th with a big bang, we have some great tips to help you cool down and chill and celebrate with your family this holiday weekend – all spotlighting foods WIC foods you can redeem with your EBT card.
The fun doesn’t stop there. We also rounded up some family-friendly activities for the entire family.
Many people will fire up the grill this holiday weekend. We have the perfect grill addition and a few sides that go perfect with your family picnic.
SUMMER WIC FOODS: GRILLED POTATOES
Wrap your russet potatoes up in foil and throw them on the grill. Before closing the foil, feel free to add your favorite seasoning blend and a little olive oil for some extra flavor. Place them on the grill rack and let them cook. You know they are done when a knife slides easily into the center of the potato. Remove from grill and let cool. Remove foil and get ready for the fluffiest, smokiest tasting “baked” potato you can imagine. Add toppings (cheese, plain yogurt, salt, and pepper to taste) of your choice.
SUMMER WIC FOODS: SALSA MADE WITH GRILLED PEACHES
While your grill is out, slice open peaches ( a great summer WIC food) in half and throw them cut side down on the grill for this amazing recipe you will want to keep eating ALL SUMMER LONG.
4 ripe peaches pitted and sliced in half
1 red onion diced
2 ripe tomato diced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
1 lime juiced
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Brush the peaches with olive oil and place them cut-side down onto the grill. Grill for about 5 minutes until the peaches are soft but not mushy. In a bowl combine the remaining ingredients. Remove hot peaches from the grill. Let them cool before dicing them. Add to bowl and mix with remaining ingredients. Serve.
INDEPENDENCE DAY FAMILY FUN
Spending time with loved ones is the best medicine. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to put a smile on a kid’s face and enjoy quality family time. In fact, sometimes the simpler things are the best. Here are a few ideas we loved for spending extra quality time with the family this holiday weekend.
Make Patriotic Crafts –It is fun to make something patriotic for the holiday. We found a few ideas you might like on Pinterest. Check them out here and here.
Everything seems to cost more these days: gas, groceries, and almost everything else. Here are a few tips to help parents save money this summer on everything from groceries to gas. HINT: Maximizing Texas WIC can help!
MAKE FEWER TRIPS
One way to save gas money is to try to fit in as many errands into the same trip. Fewer trips to an area help reduce the number of miles you are driving to get there and back. Mapping out your errands this way also helps you save time.
For example, if you are driving to a WIC clinic to renew your benefits then pick up your WIC groceries at a nearby PWIC store that caters to WIC clients. Stores like Grocery Services North locations are usually really really close to WIC clinics. Sometimes they are even next door. Find a PWIC store near you atGroceryServicesNorth.com/locations.
Using programs like WIC for food benefits will help you save money on food. Plus, PWIC stores like Grocery Services North caters to WIC clients. That means we have all your WIC items in one place, and the bilingual staff is familiar with the program if you need help.
PLAN YOUR MENU AHEAD, SAVE MONEY WITH WIC FOODS
Another way to save money is to plan your menu for the week or even the month ahead. It also helps create less waste. For example, if you roast veggies you can use them for two meals in one week by using them in a stir-fry one night, as a side, or even in a salad or a grilled sandwich. It also helps you save time because you can cook multiple meals at one time. If you are looking for tips on meal planning check out this article.
Who said you couldn’t play with your food? Getting kids into the kitchen is a great activity to get their creative juices flowing. It’s also a great way to keep them interested in eating healthy, WIC foods.
Healthy WIC foods don’t have to be boring. In fact, you and the kids can turn their little plates into works of art all with some of your favorite WIC ingredients. Gather up some of your favorite WIC foods (oatmeal, fruits, vegetables and tuna fish) for these fun ideas that will get your kiddos excited to help out in the kitchen.
WIC FOR KIDS: OATMEAL
Oatmeal is a super healthy WIC food. It’s also a super healthy snack. For the first snack of the day. Let your kids help “decorate” a bowl of oatmeal like their pets or animals. These fruits make great faces: sliced bananas, berries of all kinds, apple pieces cut into fun shapes and maybe even a little peanut butter to hold pieces together. What little one wouldn’t love eating this yummy, healthy creation once they are done.
Oatmeal is a great WIC food because it’s full of fiber, iron and other vitamins and minerals like zinc.
WIC FOR KIDS: FRUIT CRITTERS
Getting your kids to eat more fruit is easy when you make fruit critters. Slice up some of your favorite fruits and let your toddlers “color” their plate by turning the fruit into fun animals. You can get them started by making a few of your own. It’s also fun to cut fruit into fun shapes using kid-friendly cookie cutters.
WIC FOR KIDS: VEGGIE PALS
Having a hard time getting enough vegetables into your tot’s stomach? Serve them a plate of green peas that look like a friendly frog.
WIC FOR KIDS: TUNA FISHY
First, make a bowl of tuna fish, using this greatTexas WIC recipe. Then let the little ones help by spreading it on a piece of toasted whole wheat bread. Place another piece of whole wheat bread on top. Let the kids decorate the sandwich into fruit to make it look like a fish. See photo above. Orange quarters, banana slices and berries can all be used to make fun fish faces and fins. Looking for a little more creative inspiration? Check out this recipe idea from Texas WIC.
Texas WIC is an advocate of getting kids in the kitchen to help in “age-appropriate ways,” and these recipes are a great way to get them involved. For more tips from including kids in the kitchen, check out these tips online.
RENEW YOUR WIC BENEFITS AND REDEEM THEM IN THE SAME TRIP
Next time you visit a WIC clinic to renew your WIC benefits, visit a nearby Grocery Services North store to get all your WIC foods in one easy stop. Grocery Services North locations are located near WIC offices to make it super convenient for clients to get everything they need.
Add Some Sparkle To Your Memorial Day Table Using WIC Foods
Looking to add a little something festive to your Memorial Day Weekend menu? Here are a few family meal ideas using WIC foods that will add a little something extra to your holiday.
Temperatures are also beginning to heat up so these recipes are easy, refreshing no-fuss bites. They are the perfect way for you to keep everyone satisfied without having to spend too much time in the kitchen. Plus, little helpers can also get involved for the perfect quality family time.
IDEAS FOR FAMILY MEALS USING WIC FOODS
FRUIT SPARKLER DRINK
Break out your red and blue fruits and add them to your ice water or juice for a cool, refreshing treat. A few fun fruits to try are watermelon, strawberries, and blueberries. Don’t forget to let the kiddos help. This is a perfect way to celebrate while spending time outside this Memorial Day weekend.
PATRIOTIC CHEESE TRAY
Cheese platters have never been more popular! Cut up some of your favorite fruits and cheeses and arrange in fun patriotic ways. Make a red, white and blue design, like the one in the photo, using blueberries, white cheese cubes and cubed watermelon. You could also use strawberries. The design possibilities are endless and the kids will love getting involved!
Roll-ups make a simple, healthy snack or lunch the kids will love. Place a whole wheat tortilla on a plate, add your favorite salsa, dressing, vegetables, and cheese, and roll! Cut the rolled tortilla into bite-size pieces and enjoy! A few filling ideas include and combination of the following WIC-approved foods: lettuce, tomato, cheese, apple, avocado, guacamole, cucumbers, raw or cooked mushrooms, and beans!
Once made and sliced, arrange on a platter for a quick family-style meal for everyone.
DON’T FORGET THE WATERMELON
No matter how you cut it, watermelon is a summertime staple. It’s perfect for hot days because it even can help you stay hydrated. There are so many fun ways to eat this fruit. Cut it into cubes and place it on skewers for a fun kebob. The kiddos can help by cutting watermelon slices with cookie cutters and creating fun shapes (Oh my Stars for Memorial Day!) You can even quarter watermelon and dig in with a spoon!
The stores are currently offering Always Save® mild jarred salsa and canned tomato sauce.These two new productscan help busy moms save time in the kitchen. Here are a few recipes you are going to want to try with these two new products.
Both products are redeemable as WIC foods in the fruits and vegetable category. Learn more about WIC’s expanded fruit and vegetable benefits here.
Try this recipe using our new jarred salsa:
BLACK BEAN & SALSA PASTA MELT
1 jar (16 oz) salsa
1 ½ cups of water
2 cups of elbow macaroni
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Add drained black beans to a skillet. Add salsa and water and stir. Bring everything to a boil. Add macaroni and reduce heat on medium-low and cover. Cook until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes. Add cheese and cover until it is melted. Enjoy!
Here is a recipe featuring our new tomato sauce:
EASY SKILLET VEGETABLE PASTA
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 can tomato sauce (8 ounces)
1 cup water
8 ounces of uncooked pasta, such as elbow macaroni
2 cups fresh or frozen vegetables (ideas: chopped carrots, tomatoes or bell peppers)
½ cup grated cheese
Add olive oil to a pan and heat on medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic powder. Add tomato sauce, water and uncooked pasta. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add fresh or frozen vegetables, stir and cook until pasta and vegetables are tender, about 10 more minutes. Add cheese and heat until melted. Enjoy!