Food From Texas WIC: Little Hands, Little Bites

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 and Waco. Locations are near WIC offices. Find a location near you today. 

Primarily WIC Stores Coming To East Texas

Grocery Services North Opening Tyler, Longview Locations

WIC grocery shopping is about to get easier for East Texans. Primarily WIC stores will soon open in Tyler and Longview.

Grocery Services North will soon open its 10th and 11th Primarily WIC stores in East Texas.  The Tyler location will open at 225 East Amherst #700 and the Longview location is opening at 2430 South High Street, #C4.Both are conveniently located next door to WIC clinics. 

The stores will feature the latest shopping technology in English and Spanish.

“WIC clients can update their WIC benefits, and get all their WIC groceries in one easy stop,” said Cristina Torres, Grocery Services North manager. “Plus, customers can check their WIC balance before shopping and see exactly what WIC benefits are remaining.”

Grocery Services North is a primarily WIC grocery store chain with locations in Dallas and Waco, TX and now East Texas. The stores offer an easy WIC shopping format that takes the hassle out of WIC shopping. 

PRIMARILY WIC STORES COMING SOON EAST TEXAS

The Primarily WIC store in Tyler and Longview will only be stocked with WIC-approved groceries – including everything from baby formula, specialty baby formula, milk, eggs, cheese, beans, tuna, peanut butter to fresh fruits and vegetables. Grocery Services North makes it super easy to get all your WIC groceries in one easy stop.

WIC clients can visit a store, insert their WIC EBT card at the counter to see all of their redeemable WIC benefits before they shop. Bilingual clerks help assist WIC customers get all their desired WIC groceries for checkout. WIC clients then approve each item for redemption while a clerk sacks all their groceries.

 “Customers don’t have to wonder if their groceries are WIC approved or search aisles looking for groceries,” Ms. Torres said.

WIC Approved Fruits and Vegetables

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. 

WIC Income Requirements

Pregnant & Need Help?

Are you pregnant and need help with your pregnancy, but not sure where to start? Start with Texas WIC. 

The program is open to pregnant women that are Texas residents. The free program can begin as soon as you learn that you are expecting a baby. To qualify, expecting Texas mothers must meet the following WIC income requirements, which are provided by Texas WIC. 

WIC INCOME REQUIREMENTS

Households with the following gross yearly income per member: WIC pregnancy help

  • 1 household member can qualify making up to $25,142 gross yearly income per household;
  • 2 household members up to $33,874 gross yearly income; 
  • 3 household members up to $42,606 gross yearly income; 
  • 4 household members up to $51,338 gross yearly income; 
  • 5 household members up to $60,070 gross yearly income and 
  • 6 household members up to $68,802 gross yearly income

Texas WIC can help you give your baby a healthy start with education, counseling and nutritional foods. The program provides FREE resources to help you along your pregnancy, including nutrition counseling and FREE healthy food packages to help ensure you and your baby have a healthy pregnancy. To see if you qualify for the program, apply online at texaswic.com/apply.

Visit our blog, to get more information about Texas WIC.

Grocery Services North is a chain of grocery stores near WIC clinics that caters to WIC clients. There are 9 locations in Dallas and Waco to help make WIC grocery shopping easy. Customers can check their WIC balance before shopping and can get personal shopping assistance from bilingual clerks that are familiar with the WIC program.

Find a location near you.

Vegetables Are WIC Foods

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 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.

 

Enjoy Summer WIC Foods This July 4!

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 9 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

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.

WIC Kids: Fun Summertime Activity

Check Off  Mealtime, Playtime At Same Time! 

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 great Texas 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. 

There are 9 locations throughout Dallas and Waco. Visit online to find a store near you.

Visit our blog for more recipes using WIC foods. 

Recipes Using WIC Salsa & Tomato Sauce

Recipes Spotlighting 2 New WIC-Approved Foods

Grocery Services North is offering two new WIC products that will help make healthy family recipes a breeze. 

The stores are currently offering Always Save® mild jarred salsa and canned tomato sauce. These two new products can 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!

Visit any Grocery Services North store to pick up these two new products today!

Grilled Cheese With WIC Foods

Grilled Cheese Is American Classic

A grilled cheese sandwich is comfort food at its best! Use WIC foods to make the best grilled cheese sandwiches.

Ewwey gooey cheese sandwiched between toasty bread. There is something so simple and satisfying about a grilled cheese sandwich. 

Kids and adults can appreciate this meal any time of year. It’s perfect dipped into a big bowl of tomato soup or as a side to a healthy salad. Kids might prefer to eat it with a side of fruit.

Plus, this recipe is made using only WIC-approved foods: whole wheat bread and cheese. Plus, it’s a great source of protein and calcium. 

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and grill some cheese! WIC-approved whole wheat bread and cheeses are all you need to make a delicious grilled cheese sandwich that will satisfy your hunger and comfort your soul. So go ahead, and indulge in this classic American favorite today!

Because today seems like a good day for a grilled cheese sandwich so here are some recipes we know you will want to try these grilled cheese recipes with WIC foods

Grilled Cheese made with WIC Foods

AMERICAN GRILLED CHEESE WITH WIC FOODS

2 slices of whole wheat bread

1 tablespoon butter

Cheese Slice

Heat skillet to medium heat. Generously butter one side of the slice of bread and put the butter side down into the pan. Place cheese on the side without butter.  Butter a second slice of bread and place butter side up on top of a cheese slice. Cook until lightly browned and then flip until cheese is perfectly melted. 

Mommy's Grilled Cheese made with WIC Foods

MOMMY’S  GRILLED CHEESE

2 slices of whole wheat bread

1 tablespoon butter

Cheese Slice

Sliced Avocado

Sliced Tomato

Heat skillet to medium heat. Generously butter one side of the slice of bread and put the butter side down into the pan. Place cheese on the side without butter. Add slices of avocado and tomato slices. Butter a second slice of bread and place butter side up on top of the tomato slice. Cook until lightly browned and then flip until cheese is perfectly melted. 

WIC GROCERY SHOPPING

Get all your WIC ingredients at Grocery Services North, a primarily WIC grocery store chain with locations in Dallas and Waco. Grocery Services North helps make getting WIC groceries easier. The store only offers WIC foods and clients can get in and out in one easy stop. Clients can even check their WIC balance before shopping. Bilingual clerks assist shoppers throughout their visit. Locations are conveniently located near WIC offices.

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

Find more recipes on our blog.