October 2022

Budget Bites to Help You Save Money On Food

2022-11-21T18:37:08+00:00October 21st, 2022|Categories: Meal Planning, Recipes, Texas WIC, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , |

4 Tips To Help You Save Money

Grocery prices keep going up, and we are all looking for ways to stretch our food budgets. Here are a few tips we can all use to curb the waste, and stretch our food dollars even further.

USE MORE, WASTE LESS

If you don’t think you will use them before they go bad, freeze fruits and vegetables. Put them in freezer-safe containers or bags and mark with a date. These frozen portions are great to add to soups or smoothies.

Save veggie scraps like potato rinds, ends of onions and celery pieces, to make veggie broth. These vegetables will make a perfect vegetable broth that is delicious in soups.

Use leftovers creatively. You can turn almost any leftovers into a completely different meal. For example, did you make roasted veggies as a side dish this week? Use the leftovers in a delicious omelet. You cook once and have two delicious meals. Plus, you save time in the kitchen.

MAXIMIZE WIC BENEFITS

One of the best ways to maximize your WIC benefits is to use your SNAP benefits first. Your SNAP benefits roll over, but your WIC benefits expire at the end of the month. USE WIC FIRST.

Make fewer trips. If you are making a trip to the WIC clinic, redeem your WIC benefits during the same trip. Grocery Services North, which caters to WIC clients, are conveniently located near WIC clinics. Grocery Services North caters to WIC clients and helps them redeem their benefits in one easy, fast trip.

PLAN AHEAD

By planning ahead you can save time and money. Plan your menu for the week. See what ingredients can be used to do double duty in your recipes. For example, are you making a homemade soup and stir-fry dish this week? Get an onion that can be used for both. What other ingredients can be used in both meals? Stretch your food dollars by using simple recipes with less ingredients. Plus, it is a great way for your kids to help. Make a menu together on a chalkboard or a colorful paper. Your kids will love the family activity.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

One of the best ways to save money cooking is to make simple, nutritious recipes that don’t have a ton of ingredients. Buy pantry staples like seasonings on sale or in bulk. Make your own salad dressing using olive oil and simple seasonings.

Get all your WIC foods at Grocery Services North in Dallas, Plano, Waco, Tyler and Longview. Grocery Services North caters to WIC clients, and are ready to help you get all your WIC foods in one easy stop. Find a location near you.

September 2022

Quick, Easy Family Meal Features Whole Grains

2022-09-28T18:13:10+00:00September 22nd, 2022|Categories: Meal Planning, Pregnancy, Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Whole grains are a great source of nutrition. Texas WIC features several approved-foods that offer whole grains. This recipe for Pasta with Peas from the “staff favorites” from the Whole Grain Council is a super easy, quick meal that can be made in 15 minutes for the entire family. Find more recipes like this one on their website.

Pasta with Peas

2 eggs, beaten

½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 cup frozen peas

12 ounces whole wheat pasta

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and break linguini in half and cook according to package directions. 

While the pasta is cooking, combine the eggs and cheese in a small bowl, beat, and set aside. Put peas in a strainer, rinse under hot water, and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté for several minutes, until it softens. Add the peas to the skillet and cook for about one minute longer.

Drain the pasta and add to the skillet. Toss gently to mix. Create a well in the center, add the eggs and cheese, and cook until they are starting to firm up. Toss with the pasta and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

Let’s celebrate whole grains! 

2022-09-15T17:44:21+00:00September 15th, 2022|Categories: Child Health, Meal Planning, Mom Health, Pregnancy, Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , |

September is Whole Grains Month! 

Whole grains are an important part of a healthy diet. Texas WIC food packages also include whole grains, including brown rice, whole wheat bread and tortillas, corn tortillas, oatmeal and whole-wheat pasta. 

Health experts recommend including whole grains in our diets because they can help “reduce risks of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity,” according to the Oldways Whole Grains Council.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that at least half of all the grains you eat are whole grains. If you’re like most people, you’re not getting enough whole grains — so see how to make whole grains a part of your healthy diet.

Grains can be either whole or refined. Whole grains have the entire grain kernel, and include whole-wheat flour, oatmeal and brown rice to name a few. Refined grains remove fiber, iron and some vitamins. Examples include white flour, bread and rice. 

In honor of whole grains month, here is a recipe to try:

WIC Whole Grains: Add whole grains to your Tuna Patties

Whole-Grain Tuna Rice Cakes

1 can tuna, undrained

2 cups cooked rice

1/4 cup finely chopped celery

1 Tbsp finely chopped onion

1 slice of whole wheat bread, shredded or crumbled

Dash or two of ground black pepper

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the tuna with its liquid, rice, celery, onion, bread and pepper. Stir in the eggs and mix well. Form mixture into 4 patties using about ¼ cup mix for each. Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add patties and brown on each side. Enjoy!

Get all your WIC foods at Grocery Services North in one easy stop. Grocery Services North is a chain of grocery stores that caters to WIC clients. There are 11 locations in Dallas, Plano, Waco, Tyler and Longview. Visit today!

 

August 2022

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

2022-08-26T20:56:53+00:00August 5th, 2022|Categories: Meal Planning, Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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

1 lemon

½ cup milk

1 egg

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

WIC INSPIRED RECIPE FROM GROCERY SERVICES NORTH

Get all your WIC groceries in one easy stop at any Grocery Services North location in Dallas, Waco, Tyler, and Longview. Bilingual clerks personally help you get all your WIC foods without all the hassle.

Did you make this WIC-inspired recipe? Let’s be friends.  Tag us on Instagram or Facebook using @groceryservicesnorth

 

Food From Texas WIC: Little Hands, Little Bites

2022-08-26T20:59:38+00:00August 2nd, 2022|Categories: Baby Food, Baby Formula, Child Health, Meal Planning, Texas WIC, WIC Food, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , |

Starting The Baby Food Journey

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.

In general, Texas WIC experts set out these first year milestones to give you a general idea when babies are ready for milestones, but every baby is different. 

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.

CAUTION AHEAD

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. 

Also, do not give babies foods that may cause them to choke like nuts or grapes.

FOOD FROM TEXAS WIC CAN HELP

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. 

Get all your WIC groceries in one easy stop at Grocery Services North in Dallas, Waco, Tyler, and Longview. Locations are near WIC offices. Find a location near you today. 

July 2022

WIC Inspired Recipes – Ratatouille

2022-08-26T21:01:06+00:00July 18th, 2022|Categories: Child Health, Meal Planning, Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

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.

Ratatouille

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!

WIC INSPIRED RECIPE FROM GROCERY SERVICES NORTH

Get all your WIC groceries in one easy stop at any Grocery Services North location in Dallas, Waco, Tyler, and Longview. Bilingual clerks personally help you get all your WIC foods without all the hassle.

Did you make this WIC-inspired recipe? Let’s be friends.  Tag us on Instagram or Facebook using @groceryservicesnorth

 

 

WIC Approved Fruits and Vegetables

2022-07-21T14:47:09+00:00July 11th, 2022|Categories: Dallas, Grocery Services North, Meal Planning, Texas WIC, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , |

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.

WIC clients can get all their WIC groceries in one easy stop at any Grocery Services North location in Dallas and Waco. Grocery Services North caters to WIC clients and locations are located conveniently to WIC offices to help customers get WIC in one trip. 

Vegetables Are WIC Foods

2022-08-26T04:39:28+00:00July 5th, 2022|Categories: Meal Planning, Mom Health, Recipes, Texas WIC, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , |

Summer Salads You Will Want To Eat!

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.

ADD CHEESE

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.)

ADD PROTEIN

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

Tomatoes, chopped

Mozzarella cheese, shredded

¼ onion, chopped

Chopped carrots

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 locations in Dallas, Waco, Tyler, and Longview 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.

 

June 2022

Enjoy Summer WIC Foods This July 4!

2022-08-26T04:41:53+00:00June 24th, 2022|Categories: Grocery Services North, Kid Activities, Meal Planning, Recipes, Texas WIC, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , |

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. 

SUMMER WIC FOODS: PICNIC PERFECT (SPOTLIGHTING WIC INGREDIENTS)

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. 

DON’T WASTE TIME, GET YOUR SUMMER WIC FOODS TODAY!

With so much family fun planned, stop by any Grocery Services North locations to pick up all your WIC groceries in one easy stop. Don’t search aisles for WIC-approved foods. Grocery Services North caters to WIC clients, and everything in the store is WIC approved. You will be in and out with your groceries for your family picnic. Find a location near a WIC clinic near you on our website.

 

 

Ways To Save Money This Summer

2022-06-22T13:18:31+00:00June 21st, 2022|Categories: Dallas, Grocery Services North, Meal Planning, Texas WIC, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , |

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 at GroceryServicesNorth.com/locations.

SAVE MONEY WITH WIC: USE EBT

Another way to save money is to make sure you redeem all your EBT benefits. Remember, if you don’t use your WIC benefits by the end of the month they expire. SNAP benefits never expire so redeem your WIC benefits first. Bonus, Grocery Services North locations accept WIC and SNAP EBT. 

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. 

Plus, check out our blog for more recipe ideas using WIC foods. 

It’s also a great activity for kids. When you get them involved, you can have age-appropriate conversations about healthy foods, meal planning, and not wasting food.