January 2023

Mom Hacks Using WIC Foods

2023-01-11T16:06:33+00:00January 5th, 2023|Categories: Baby Food, Child Health, Grocery Services North, Meal Planning, Mom Health, Pregnancy, Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Moms and moms-to-be all need savvy, time-saving hacks to save time, be healthy and to maintain sanity.

Infant and toddler moms don’t usually have a lot of spare time. Moms often feel a lot of stress to take care of tiny humans. That’s why we have come up with some great mom hacks to help save time while offering a little piece-of-mind.

Stress for expecting mothers can also be high. What can you eat? What should you not eat? It can be overwhelming. Not to mention, you are creating a human in your belly. That is very tiring.

PREGNANCY HACKS

Now is the perfect time to practice carrying a prepared bag (think diaper bag for moms). Except this bag will be filled with healthy snacks/water for mom. Here are a few ideas for your mom bag: water bottle, dry WIC-approved cereal – which is packed with iron and fiber. Other ideas for your “snack” bag: fresh fruit like bananas or peanut butter on whole wheat bread. Get more information about WIC foods and pregnancy here.

TIME SAVING COOKING HACKS FOR MOMS

Every mom loves a good kitchen shortcut. Here are a few ideas you can use in the kitchen to help you save time and maintain your sanity.

  1. First up: homemade teething rings. When toddlers start to teeth, it can be painful for your baby and hard on mom. No parent likes a little one to cry in pain. Make homemade teething ring popsicles. The cold pop is perfect for sore gums. Plus, because you can make several at a time and freeze you will have treats for weeks to come. Here is a recipe you can use:

BERRY YOGURT POPSICLES

1 ½ bananas (mom can eat the other half)

16 ounces of yogurt (any flavor)

4 ounces of blueberries

Blend all ingredients in a blender until it is very smooth. Place yogurt mixture into popsicle molds. Freeze for at least 6 hours. Keep in the freezer for the next time your child needs a treat.

2. Here is another time-saving hack: make pre-made snacks for hungry toddlers. Moms know that one of your main roles as a parent is to give your child healthy foods. It can often feel like a full-time job. You can save time by making several pre-made snacks to keep on hand. Pre-cook boiled eggs to have on head in the fridge. These are great for children starting to eat real foods and older kids looking for a snack. For kiddos starting to eat table food, make sure you have easy foods you can grab when your baby is hungry. A few great examples are avocados and bananas that can be smashed for smaller children. Here are a few more ideas for snacks using WIC foods.

CRAFTY PROJECTS

Having a little fun can also be a great way to take a break and cut the stress. We have gathered a few hacks using containers from WIC foods. Use empty and cleaned milk and egg cartons for fun crafty projects. So are baby food jars. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Turn your egg carton into a fun container for kid paint. Each egg holder can be for a different color. Your egg container could also be used to create a homemade sensory tray. Fill the egg carton with items with different textures that you can find around the house: a small ball of yarn, a block, a small piece of fabric. Just make sure the items are age-appropriate and are not a choking hazard for your little one.
  2. For older kids, use the lids from your milk jugs to make checkers pieces. Just color the lid black or red. Save enough to make your own checkers pieces. Make a checkerboard out of cardboard or a piece of paper you have around the house.

Of course your imagination is the limit for using containers to help entertain your kids. Sometimes kids enjoy making toys out of the simplest items around your house.

The best mom hack of all is to get all your WIC foods in one easy stop at any Grocery Services North location. Since you won’t have to go searching down long aisles to get all your WIC foods, you will save time and your sanity. Find a location near you.

Do you have mom hacks you would like to share? Drop them in the comments below. Use hashtag #GSNmomhacks

Looking for more blog articles about these topics? Check these out:

Join WIC During Pregnancy

3 Reasons To Join WIC

December 2022

2 Great Recipes Using WIC Foods

2022-12-20T15:07:33+00:00December 14th, 2022|Categories: Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Potato Soup, 3 Bean Chili Recipes To Comfort Your Family This Winter

This winter, soups are the perfect way to cozy up. We have two amazing recipes using WIC foods that will help warm your whole family on the coldest of days. These two recipes use popular WIC foods such as beans, vegetables and cheese to help make a filling family meal that you can enjoy for days to come.

BAKED POTATO SOUP

5 large russet potatoes, diced

1 teaspoon salt

5 slices thick cut bacon

1 large onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tablespoon butter

¼ cup flour

3 cups Chicken broth

2 cups milk

1 cup sour cream

½ teaspoon pepper

2 cups shredded cheese – Colby jack, cheddar, or mozzarella work best

1/8 cup green onion chives, finely diced

Helpful Tips: 

Avoid using bagged shredded cheese, as it contains cellulose which prevents the cheese from melting smoothly.

Plain Greek Yogurt can be used instead of sour cream.

Instructions:

Submerge diced potatoes in a pot of water. Add salt and boil for about 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside.

Cut the bacon into squares and cook low and slow until crisp.

Add the onions and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and butter and cook for 2 more minutes. 

Slowly stir in flour while mixing and cook for 1 – 2 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, then the milk. Bring to a boil while stirring often, then reduce to a simmer. Mash the potatoes then add them to the pot. Mix in the sour cream, salt and pepper.

Remove from heat.

Gradually sprinkle in the shredded cheese. Stir until combined. Add the green onion chives and any extra cheese or sour cream you want. The soup will continue to thicken as it stands. 

Serve & enjoy!

Frijoles WIC

The temperatures are dropping. What’s more comforting than a nice warm soup or chili? Gather up WIC-approved beans and other WIC ingredients for this hearty and healthy recipe. It’s the perfect time to cozy up to a bowl of this 3 Bean Chili.

3 BEAN CHILI

1 onion, diced

1 tablespoon of minced garlic

3 celery stalks, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 jalapeno, diced

1 can of diced tomatoes with chilies

1 can of kidney beans, drained

1 can of black beans

2 cans of pinto beans, drained

1 tablespoon of butter or oil

Optional for topping:

Green onions

Cheese and/or sour cream

Turn the slow cooker on high heat. Finely dice about 2 cloves of garlic, 1 onion, 3 celery stalks, 1 large carrot, and 2 jalapenos then add to the slow cooker. Add 1 tablespoon of butter or oil & stir. Drain the liquid out of 1 can of kidney beans and 2 cans of pinto beans, then add to the slow cooker. Then add 1 can of black beans (don’t drain the liquid out of this one).

Stir & cover. Cook for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with shredded cheese & green onion on top, and this pairs great with cornbread too! Enjoy!

Pick up all your WIC-approved beans and other WIC foods in one easy stop at any Grocery Services North store. There are 11 locations in Dallas, Garland, Grand Prairie, Plano, Waco, Tyler and Longview. 

Check out our blog for more recipes using WIC-approved beans and other WIC foods. 

 

September 2022

Recipe Spotlight Using WIC Foods

2022-09-26T16:41:49+00:00September 23rd, 2022|Categories: Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , , , |

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, we will be spotlighting several recipes you can make in your kitchen. This one, “A Simple Mexican Salad” is from the USDA website and came from the Oregon State University Cooperative Extension Service. It’s a refreshing salad with a little bite. It’s cool and refreshing flavors are very comforting. 

A Simple Mexican Salad

Chili powder and lime juice are the secret ingredients in this cucumber and orange salad.

2 cucumbers

2 oranges

1 lemon or lime (the juice)

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Wash the cucumbers, oranges and lemon or lime under cold running water. Slice the cucumbers. Peel and cut the oranges into small pieces. Place cucumber slices and orange pieces in a medium size bowl. Add chili powder, lemon or lime juice and salt.

Get all your WIC foods in one easy stop at any Grocery Services North There are 11 locations in Dallas, Plano, Waco, Tyler and Longview. 

 

Labor Less This Holiday Weekend

2022-12-08T14:20:50+00:00September 2nd, 2022|Categories: Grocery Services North, Meal Planning, Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping|Tags: , , |

Make Ahead Recipes Perfect For Enjoying Time With Your Family

All moms need a break. 

Labor Day is the perfect time to take a break from all the extra things you normally do – like extra cooking – and enjoy a special moment with your family. 

Feeding your family can sometimes seem like an all-day event. Mom’s know that kids always seem hungry, and if you aren’t making  breakfast, it’s a snack (or two) and then dinner. Mom’s also need a break. That’s why we have come up with a super easy holiday weekend menu that lets moms take a break and enjoy the holiday.

Pick a few of these recipes below to make ahead of time, giving you extra time to spend with your family. They are super easy recipes the entire family will enjoy. 

ONE PAN CHILI MAC

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. paprika

1 tbsp. cumin 

2 tsp. onion powder

2 tsp. garlic powder

Salt to taste

2 cups water

1 8 oz. can of  tomato sauce

8 oz. whole wheat elbow macaroni

8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese or other cheese of your choice

Heat oil in a pan. Add water, tomato sauce, pasta and seasonings, cook on medium-high to bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 10  minutes, stirring until pasta is tender. Sprinkle cheese on top and put the lid on the pan until the cheese is melted. 

CEREAL BAR SNACK

4 cups of WIC-approved cereal of your choice

¾ cup peanut butter

½ cup honey

2 tablespoons butter

Line a square pan with foil or parchment paper. Spray foil with cooking spray. In a large saucepan, heat peanut butter, honey and butter until mixture is boiling and slightly thickened. Place cereal in a bowl. Stir heated peanut butter sauce over cereal. stir until evenly coated. Using the buttered back of the spoon, press the mixture very firmly in a square pan. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm enough to cut. Make and place in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

This recipe makes 4 snack boxes you can store in the refrigerator for up to a week. They are great for snacks or lunch.

SNACK IN A BOX

Boil 4 eggs

Cheese slices

1 peanut butter sandwich on wheat bread

Cut fruit

Boil four eggs in hot water for about 7 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Peel eggs and slice in half. Slice cheese into bite sized pieces. Make a peanut butter sandwich on wheat bread and cut into 4 pieces. Sliced fruit. Assemble snack boxes and put in the refrigerator for up to one week. Enjoy!

August 2022

WIC Breakfast Foods

2022-12-05T14:49:44+00:00August 17th, 2022|Categories: Recipes, Texas WIC, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping|Tags: , , , , , |

Breakfast Recipes With WIC Foods Good Enough To Eat All Day

Some might say breakfast is the best meal of the day. 

Texas WIC offers many healthy breakfast foods for pregnant women and children to help get the day off to a great start. But it is also a great way to end a day. Here are some examples of healthy WIC foods that make the best breakfast ingredients, no matter when you eat them.

Eggs , Whole Wheat Bread, Whole Wheat Tortillas, Fruit, Vegetables, Cereal, Oatmeal, Milk, Fruit Juice, Cheese, Yogurt are all part of the Texas WIC program.

These foods are healthy and great served individually. Combine to make some of the best breakfast foods: omelets, tacos, breakfast sandwiches, smoothies and more. But changing it up is always fun. Here are a few WIC breakfast foods with a twist your family will love

BREAKFAST QUESADILLA

2 Whole Wheat Tortilla

2 large eggs

¼ cup shredded cheese

1 teaspoon butter

Cooking spray

Salsa

Sliced Avocado

Crack eggs in a bowl and whisk. Spray skillet with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Put eggs in a pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Put eggs on a plate. Wipe pan clean. Lightly butter one side of the tortilla. Place butter side down in the pan. Put ½ of the scrambled eggs on top of the tortilla and add half of the cheese and fold the tortilla in half.  Cook on each side until the tortilla is crispy and the cheese has melted, about 3 minutes. Repeat to make a second tortilla. Serve with salsa and sliced avocado.

PEANUT BUTTER, BANANA OVERNIGHT OATS

½ cup old fashioned rolled oats

½ cup milk

1/4 cup plain yogurt 

1 teaspoons maple syrup or honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

pinch of salt

1 tablespoon peanut butter

Sliced bananas

Add oats, milk, yogurt, maple syrup and salt and ½ tablespoon of the peanut butter into a container with an air-tight lid. Stir. Place in the fridge overnight. The next morning, remove the lid. Stir oats and add a splash of milk. Top with remaining peanut butter and slice bananas. Overnight oats can remain in the fridge for up to 5 days in a sealed container. 

For all your WIC groceries, visit any Grocery Services North location in Dallas, Waco, Tyler, and Longview. Grocery Services North caters to WIC clients by providing an easy shopping experience and format to get all your WIC foods in one easy stop. SNAP also accepted. Find a location near a WIC clinic near you, groceryservicesnorth.com/locations.

 

Easy, Fast Breakfast Or Snack With WIC Foods

2022-08-26T20:09:38+00:00August 17th, 2022|Categories: Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , |

Seems like we are always in a rush. Looking for a quick and easy breakfast or snack? This one is perfect for you or your littles. It is made using only WIC foods: cereal, peaches and yogurt. Add a little dash of cinnamon for extra taste.

PEACH PARFAIT

1 cup Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds (or any WIC cereal of your choice)

1 snack size peach cup

1 cup of peach yogurt

Sprinkle of cinnamon

Pour ½ cup of cereal in a cup. Smear ½ cup of yogurt on top of cereal. Add ½ of the peach cup on top. Repeat layers of cereal, yogurt and peach cup. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!

GET MORE SNACKS USING WIC FOODS

Get these and all your other WIC foods at Grocery Services North, a grocery store chain that caters to WIC clients. Find a location near a WIC clinic near you here. 

January 2021

Plan Weekly Menu With WIC Foods

2022-08-26T10:36:02+00:00January 4th, 2021|Categories: Meal Planning, WIC Food|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Save Time, Money by Planning Your Menus

Wouldn’t it be nice if you only had to think about what you were going to make for dinner once a week? You picked up all your WIC foods. Now what are you going to make?

Between changing diapers and making sure your tot doesn’t run headfirst into danger, finding time to get a healthy meal on the table can be a real struggle. You might find yourself opening the fridge at crunch time, searching for anything you can throw together that your family will eat.

We all know eating healthy is important, but dinnertime can creep up on you every single day. We have all been there. Give meal planning a try.

It can sound intimidating, but it can make feeding your family much easier. It doesn’t mean you have to spend an entire day in the kitchen or even buy up lots of ingredients in advance. It just takes a little planning, and you can save you lots of time and money.

Think of meal planning as a tool to maximize your ingredients in a way that will also help you make the most of your time. It just means you have to think ahead. 

MAKE A PLAN, KEEP IT SIMPLE

Pick a day once a week to write out a menu. Use whatever method you prefer, paper and pen, or even your smartphone. You can make your plan anytime when you have a little extra time (like after the kids go to bed).  This process won’t take long, and as you get familiar with the steps you will be planning with ease.

First, survey the ingredients you already have on hand. Search your pantry, refrigerator and freezer.

Use the ingredients you already have to come up with several dinner ideas you think your family would love. Next, look for the ingredients the recipes might have in common. No reason to cook the same thing twice. Cook once even if it means you have to cook more of the ingredient. For example, if you have two recipes with rice, cook enough for both meals. Store the cooked rice in the refrigerator until it is needed for the second recipe. In some cases, it might make more sense to freeze the extra ingredient you cooked. 

Leftover roasted vegetables can be eaten as a side one night and served on top of a whole grain rice bowl the next night. Leftover beans can also be used in a rice bowl. Roasted vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, onions and peppers are also great in an omelet the next day. 

If you have extra veggies sitting in your fridge at the end of the week, don’t let them waste. Toss them in a non-stick skillet to create a quick stir-fry.  

HEALTH COMES FIRST WITH WIC FOODS

When picking your recipes and ingredients make sure you are selecting healthy options. There are many tools online. One of our favorite sites is the USDA’s choosemyplate.gov

The website is a great tool to have at your fingertips when searching for tips to make a menu. On the site, you will even find pointers for eating on a budget. There are also some great recipes the entire family will love. Visit choosemyplate.gov/myplatekitchen/recipes to find a few to try this week.  

The USDA even has recommendations on how to plan meals. They suggest being mindful of using ingredients you already have, create a recipe list, think about your schedule for the week and plan to use leftovers. Use their printable calendar to help plan your meals. 

WIC FOODS, CLASSES

Texas WIC also offers guidance online. They even have online classes and explore topics such as “Cooking with Fruits and Vegetables” and courses for “Feeding Tips for Children 1-2 Years Old” and another course for 2-5 year olds. They also have a course on “Food Safety at Home” that could come in handy.

When searching for healthy recipes, you can also browse a collection provided by Texas WIC.  

The Texas WIC program is a helpful resource for expecting mothers and mothers of children up to age 5 years old. The program is 100% free to those that qualify. It’s aimed to help pregnant and breastfeeding mothers get a healthy start for their infants and children up to age five.

Texas WIC also helps you stretch your food budget. WIC recipients can shop for free WIC food such as fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, and even specialty formula.  To find out if you qualify, visit a WIC clinic or apply online.

RECIPES USING WIC FOODS

To get you started, here are a few budget-friendly recipes from the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate.gov you are sure to love. These recipes, using WIC food, are perfect to use in your meal planning this week.

The following recipe is credited to: Author, USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Black Bean Burgers. MyPlate Kitchen.

 

Black Bean Burgers 

  • Makes: 4 Servings
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes

Black beans and cooked rice are used as the base of these delicious burgers. Flavored with scallions, garlic and spices, these are sure to please the whole family. 

  • 1 can 15.5 ounce low-sodium black beans (drained and rinsed with cold water)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 scallions (green and white minced about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons Chopped fresh cilantro (or basil leaves or a combination)
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano or basil
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 whole-wheat buns

Add beans to a bowl and mash with a fork until chunky. Add the egg and mix well. Add precooked rice, scallions, garlic and oregano, salt and pepper and mix until well combined. Divide the mixture into 4 portions and form each portion into a patty about ¾ to 1 inch thick. Place a large skillet on the stove on high heat.  When the skillet is hot, add oil. Add burgers and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side until browned on both sides and heated throughout. Place on a whole wheat bun.

Notes

  • Use old-fashioned rolled oats, leftover cooked barley or Panko breadcrumbs instead of prepared rice.
  • Serve with your favorite toppings such as lettuce, tomato, guacamole, salsa, low-fat cheese, or low-fat yogurt.

Source: USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion

The following recipe is credited to: Author, USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Spanish Frittata. MyPlate Kitchen.

Spanish Frittata 

  • Makes: 4 Servings
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes

This versatile recipe combines eggs, potatoes, and onion going from stovetop to oven for the finishing touch. Cut into wedges as part of a delicious breakfast, brunch or any meal.  

  • 2 russet potatoes (scrubbed)
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Put the potatoes in a non-stick skillet on the stove and cover with cold water. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook about 15 minutes until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife.  Drain the potatoes well and set aside to cool. Then peel and cut into 1-inch cubes. Put the eggs, salt, and pepper in the bowl and mix well with a whisk. Return the skillet on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high.  Add the oil. Add onion and cook about 5 minutes until soft. Add the cubed potatoes. Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes and onions. Press down with a spatula to make an even layer and shake gently to prevent sticking. Lower to medium heat and cook about 7 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until the frittata is completely set, about 5 minutes.  Gently loosen frittata from the pan. Place a serving plate over the skillet and carefully invert the frittata onto the plate.  Slice into 4 wedges. Serve warm.

Source: USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion