WIC Foods

June 2024

Summer Smoothie Series: Green Smoothie

2024-06-13T13:45:30+00:00June 12th, 2024|Categories: Meal Planning, Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

GREEN SMOOTHIE

This green smoothie has quickly become a breakfast favorite, as it’s packed with lots of good fats that give you a great start to the day by feeling nourished and energetic.

2 avocados, pitted & peeled

2 bananas, peeled

1 cup vanilla yogurt

1 cup milk

1 ½ cups ice

Blend & enjoy!

April 2024

WIC Foods Perfect For Toddlers

2024-05-02T00:56:30+00:00April 29th, 2024|Categories: Meal Planning, Mom Health, Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , |

WIC foods are a great way to make sure your little ones are getting good nutrition. When WIC foods are part of a recipe, you know you are giving them healthy choices. Coming up with new ways to get your little ones to try new foods can be very challenging.

These easy recipes are perfect for toddlers, and they feature WIC-approved foods.

PEANUT BUTTER, BERRY OATMEAL

Oatmeal

Berries

Peanut butter

Cook oatmeal according to package directions.

Stir in a spoonful of peanut butter and mashed berries. Mix until well combined and serve warm.

Here is another recipe perfect for your little one, but tasty enough for the entire family to try.

VEGETABLE, LENTIL SOUP

1 cup dried lentils, rinsed and drained

4 cups vegetable broth

2 cups water

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon dried thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups diced tomatoes, fresh or canned

2 cups chopped spinach

Juice of 1 lemon

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add diced vegetables. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add spices to the pot. Cook for another couple of minutes. Add dried lentils, broth, and water to the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in diced tomatoes, spinach and cook another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.

TUNA, AVOCADO SANDWICH BITES

Canned tuna, drained

Avocado, mashed

Whole-wheat bread, toasted

Mash avocado and mix with canned tuna

Spread mixture on whole-grain bread and cut into triangles.

Pick up all your WIC foods at a Grocery Services North store near you!

November 2023

Texas WIC Fruit, Vegetable Benefit Increase Extended

2023-11-14T14:13:39+00:00November 13th, 2023|Categories: Texas WIC, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping|Tags: , , , , |

Texas WIC has announced that the WIC fruit and vegetable dollar amount increase is now extended through September. 

This extension, which is now being offered through Sept. 30, 2024,  has different dollar amounts based on your category. Eligible clients will receive the following:

  • Children get $26 each month 
  • Pregnant, postpartum and some breastfeeding clients get $47 each month 
  • Fully and partially breastfeeding clients get $52 each month  

If your benefits for November and December are for the lower dollar amount, WIC advises: “Use the myWIC app or contact your WIC office to schedule an appointment to update your card. In myWIC, choose the appointment called “Load WIC Card” to schedule a time to update your card with the higher dollar amount, according to its website.

You can also check your WIC benefits by requesting a balance receipt from the cashier at Grocery Services North. 

WIC benefits are expected to return to their normal levels Oct. 2024, which are $12 for pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women and $10 for children ages 1 to 5. 

August 2023

Cooking Up Memories: Getting Young Kids Involved in the Kitchen

2023-08-30T18:59:35+00:00August 21st, 2023|Categories: Child Health, Kid Activities, Meal Planning, Recipes, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |

The kitchen can be a fun place for kids and parents to spend time together. Parents can help foster a positive relationship between their children and food by letting them help in the kitchen. Kids ages 1 to 5 are curious, eager to learn and want to spend time together. Here’s a guide on how to get your little ones engaged and having fun in the kitchen.

Safety First

Before getting in the kitchen together, prioritize safety. Clear the cooking area of any hazards, like sharp objects or hot surfaces. Use kid-friendly utensils with blunt edges, and make sure to supervise closely during all kitchen activities.

Create a Kid-Friendly Space

Set up a dedicated area within the kitchen where your little chef can comfortably work alongside you. A step stool (depending on age) can make reaching the counter easier or using the kitchen table, allowing them to feel more involved in the cooking process.

Easy Tasks

Let them get involved in washing vegetables, tearing lettuce, or stirring ingredients. Praise their efforts and celebrate their accomplishments to boost their confidence.

Engage the Senses

Cooking is a sensory experience. Encourage your child to touch, smell, and even taste different ingredients. Allow them to explore the textures of flour, the aroma of herbs, and the vibrant colors of fruits and vegetables.

(more…)

The Versatility of Canned Chickpeas

2023-08-22T13:46:01+00:00August 9th, 2023|Categories: Meal Planning, Pregnancy, Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

The Versatility of Canned Chickpeas

A WIC Mom’s Pantry Superhero!

When it comes to stocking up your pantry with versatile, healthy ingredients, few items can rival the incredible benefits of canned chickpeas. These tiny legumes may not wear capes, but they certainly possess superhero-like qualities that can transform your meals and save the day in the kitchen. Adding canned chickpeas to your recipes can unlock a world of nutritious and versatile meal options. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a powerhouse of nutrients and offer various health benefits for both you and your children. In this blog post, we’ll explore the many reasons why canned chickpeas should be a staple in every mom’s pantry and share some creative recipe ideas to inspire you.

Nutritional Powerhouse

Canned chickpeas pack a powerful nutritional punch, making them an ideal choice for growing children and health-conscious moms. Rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, chickpeas can contribute to a well-rounded diet and promote healthy growth and development. With iron, zinc, folate, and magnesium among their impressive nutrient profile, these legumes can help combat iron deficiency and support overall well-being.

Convenient

Canned chickpeas are incredibly versatile and require little effort to incorporate into your family’s meals. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a busy mom looking for quick meal solutions, these legumes can be easily incorporated into a variety of dishes. From salads and soups to curries and stir-fries, the possibilities are endless.

Kid-Friendly

Getting your kids to eat healthy can sometimes be a challenge, but canned chickpeas can come to the rescue. These legumes have a mild, nutty flavor that kids often find appealing. You can mash them into spreads for sandwiches, blend them into smoothies for added nutrition, or even turn them into crunchy, roasted snacks for those after-school hunger pangs.

Plant-Based Protein

For WIC moms who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet or are looking to reduce meat consumption, canned chickpeas are a fantastic plant-based protein alternative. Their protein content makes them an excellent meat substitute, ensuring your family gets the necessary protein intake for healthy growth and maintenance.

 

Recipe Ideas

Chickpea and Vegetable Curry: Whip up a hearty and nutritious chickpea and vegetable curry by sautéing onions, garlic, and ginger with your favorite curry spices. Add canned chickpeas, diced vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, and tomatoes, and let it simmer until the flavors meld together. Serve with rice or whole-grain bread for a satisfying meal.

Chickpea Avocado Salad: Create a refreshing chickpea and avocado salad by combining canned chickpeas with diced avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a tangy lemon dressing. This simple and delicious salad is perfect for a light lunch or a quick side dish.

Chickpea, Vegetables and Pasta: For a protein-packed pasta dish, toss cooked pasta with sautéed spinach or mixed vegetables, canned chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. The creamy texture of chickpeas complements the pasta wonderfully, making it a family favorite.

Canned chickpeas are undoubtedly a pantry superhero for WIC moms, offering a myriad of benefits that are hard to resist. From their nutritional prowess to their budget-friendly nature and incredible versatility, these legumes are a must-have for every health-conscious mom. By incorporating canned chickpeas into your family’s meals, you can ensure a delightful and nutritious dining experience that saves time and stress in the kitchen. So, let these humble legumes unleash their superpowers and elevate your culinary adventures to new heights!

Here are a few of our favorite recipes using chickpeas:

HUMMUS

You may have purchased pre-made hummus from the grocery store, but this dip is so easy to make at home. Plus, you can enjoy your homemade hummus without tahini! It’s a delicious and healthy dip that you can easily make using canned beans and their liquid. Here is a recipe for you:

1 can (15 ounces) of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and liquid reserved

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt, to taste

Water (or the reserved liquid from the canned beans) for adjusting consistency

Optional toppings: olive oil, paprika, chopped parsley

Rinse and drain the canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and reserve the liquid from the can.

In a food processor or blender, combine the drained chickpeas, minced garlic, lemon juice, ground cumin, and a pinch of salt. Start blending the ingredients together. Gradually add the extra-virgin olive oil while blending to help create a smooth texture.

If the mixture seems too thick, add a little bit of the reserved liquid from the canned chickpeas or water. Continue blending until the hummus reaches your desired consistency.

Taste the hummus and adjust the seasoning with more salt or lemon juice if needed. Once the hummus is smooth and well combined, transfer it to a serving bowl. You can drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil on top and sprinkle a pinch of paprika or chopped parsley for added flavor and presentation.

Serve the homemade hummus with pita bread, sliced vegetables, or your favorite dipping options.

A refreshing and nutritious salad that’s perfect for a light lunch or a side dish for dinner.

CHICKPEA, VEGETABLE SALAD

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Chopped fresh vegetables (cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, etc.)

Chopped fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, or mint)

Feta cheese (optional)

Dressing: Olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper

In a large bowl, combine the drained chickpeas, chopped vegetables, and herbs. If desired, add crumbled feta cheese for extra flavor.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and drizzle over the salad.

Toss gently to combine and serve immediately.

ROASTED CHICKPEAS

Roasted chickpeas are a delicious and healthy snack that can be made using canned chickpeas.

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (you can also use regular paprika)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to your spice preference)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional: a pinch of any other spices you like (e.g., curry powder, chili powder, onion powder, etc.)

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it with cooking spray.

Drain and rinse the canned chickpeas thoroughly. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. It’s important to remove excess moisture to achieve crispy roasted chickpeas.

In a mixing bowl, combine the chickpeas, olive oil, ground cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. You can add any other optional spices at this point as well. Toss the chickpeas until they are evenly coated with the oil and spices.

Spread the seasoned chickpeas in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Make sure they are not too close together to allow for even roasting.

Roast the chickpeas in the preheated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until they become golden brown and crispy. You can shake the baking sheet or toss the chickpeas halfway through the baking time to ensure even cooking.

Once roasted to your desired crispiness, remove the chickpeas from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving.

Enjoy your roasted chickpeas as a nutritious and flavorful snack. They can also be used as toppings for salads, soups, or as a crunchy addition to various dishes.

Note: Roasted chickpeas are best when served fresh, but you can store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two. Keep in mind that they might lose some of their crispiness over time.

Pick up your chickpeas and other WIC-approved foods at any Grocery Services North store. Find a store near you on our locations page.

July 2023

Fried Egg & Black Bean Tostadas

2023-07-25T20:20:50+00:00July 1st, 2023|Categories: Meal Planning, Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping|Tags: , , , , , |

Egg & Black Bean Tostadas

Corn tortillas

Canned black beans (slightly mashed)

Shredded cheddar cheese

Enchilada sauce

Eggs

Fresh or pickled red onion

Cilantro

Fry the corn tortillas in oil on medium high heat and set aside. 

Microwave the canned black beans in a microwave safe dish until warm and slightly mash the beans with a fork. Pour enchilada sauce onto pan, then sprinkle shredded cheese and allow to cook for a few minutes. Crack an egg on top of each pile of enchilada sauce and cheese and cook until egg whites are fully cooked. Top with your choice of fresh or pickled red onion and cilantro.

March 2023

March Is National Nutrition Month

2023-03-13T12:02:39+00:00March 7th, 2023|Categories: Child Health, Mom Health, Pregnancy, Texas WIC, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , |

Let’s Celebrate Healthy Choices

Calling all moms! National Nutrition Month is a time to celebrate and promote the importance of making healthy food choices and creating eating habits. With all the nutrition information floating around, it is easy to get overwhelmed.  

One of the best ways to make nutrition a focus in your life is by discovering easy ways to make the most out of mealtime while still getting essential nutrition for your family.  Here are a few tips from EatingRight.org, created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic:

  1. Eat Breakfast Start your day with a healthy breakfast that includes lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. 
  2. Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables Fruits and veggies add color, flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber to your plate. 
  3. Watch Portion Sizes Use half your plate for fruits and vegetables and the other half for grains and lean protein foods. 
  4. Be Active Regular physical activity has many health benefits. Start by doing what exercise you can. Children and teens should get 60 or more minutes of physical activity per day, and adults at least two hours and 30 minutes per week.

For more information about nutrition, visit eatingright.org. Texas WIC is also a great way to learn healthy habits for you and your children.

February 2023

WIC Inspired Recipes – Chilaquiles & Salsa

2023-02-10T11:15:02+00:00February 10th, 2023|Categories: Meal Planning, Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

CHILAQUILES & SALSA 

Makes 2 servings.

SALSA

1 large onion

4 – 5 large tomatoes

1 jalapeno

(remove seeds from jalapeno, or replace with ½ bell pepper if you don’t want it spicy)

Juice of ½ lime or lemon

1 cup cilantro

Salt and/or sugar to taste

For extra flavor, add a whole bulb of garlic to the veggies!

Cook vegetables in the oven at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, turning the veggies over halfway through. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes, then add veggies into a blender along with cilantro and lime or lemon juice. Blend until there’s no chunks, then it’s ready to serve!

CHILAQUILES

2 tbsp Vegetable oil

6 Corn tortillas, each cut into 6 wedges

2 Eggs

1 cup of Salsa 

(To save time, you can use WIC approved Always Save Mild Salsa from Grocery Services North instead of making your own)

Pepper

Additional Optional Toppings – Sliced avocado, shredded cheese, onion, cilantro, or even more salsa!

In a large non-stick pan, coat generously with about 2 tbsp vegetable oil and heat on stove top to medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the tortillas and fry until golden brown. Remove from heat and move tortillas to a paper towel lined plate to soak up any excess oil. Remove any remaining brown tortilla pieces in the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, add the salsa and let cook for a few minutes while stirring occasionally. Add the fried tortilla wedges to the pan and gently turn over until tortillas are coated with salsa. Let cook for a few more minutes until tortillas are thoroughly soaked in salsa, yet still slightly crispy. Remove from heat and move tortillas to the plates. Return the pan to the stove top and fry the eggs. On each plate, top the tortillas with the fried eggs. Top with your choice of favorite toppings like shredded cheese and/or avocado for some extra flavor!

Enjoy!

Toddler Snack Boxes

2023-02-09T18:32:30+00:00February 8th, 2023|Categories: Child Health, Meal Planning, Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

WIC Food Tip Perfect For Busy Moms

Toddlers love snacks! Moms of little ones may find themselves running around trying to find snacks on demand. Here is a great tip to use your WIC foods to make a perfect snack box for your little one.

One stress-free way to help busy moms looking to save some time, are pre-made snack boxes. Dig around in your cupboard for some plastic containers with lids. It doesn’t have to be fancy. One with compartments is perfect, but a food storage container without dividers also works. (TIP: You can use cupcake liners to make your own compartments) 

Grab a few of your toddler’s favorite WIC foods. Create a fun assortment of 3 to 4 single serving snacks in each container to make a perfect toddler-size snack pack to store in the fridge. Some ideas for your containers include:  cheese cubes, sliced strawberries, orange slices, blueberries, avocados, healthy WIC cereal (without the milk),  yogurt, peanut butter and whole wheat bread.  Make a whole peanut butter sandwich and cut into 1/4ths. Put one fourth in a container. 

Store the snack packs in the fridge until needed.  Making 2 or 4 containers at a time is perfect to have on hand when your little one wants something quick to eat.

This is a great way to help make sure your little one is eating healthy WIC foods. You can also get your kids involved in making their “snack packs” so they are excited to eat healthy foods. 

HAVE TODDLERS ON WIC? SHARE YOUR MOM HACKS

Do you have a great mom hack? Leave it in the comments below. We would love to hear some of your favorite tips/tricks that save you time. 

The ultimate mom hack is getting all your WIC foods in one easy stop at Grocery Services North stores. Visit a location today to see how easy it can be.

Looking for more helpful ideas?  Check out our post about WIC Snacks.

Love Texas WIC Program All Year Long

2023-02-07T14:04:45+00:00February 6th, 2023|Categories: Baby Food, Mom Health, Pregnancy, Texas WIC, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , |

There are so many things to love about Texas WIC. 

For starters, it’s a great place for parents to turn for help. The pros at Texas WIC can also show parents the ropes for self love during pregnancy and after. Plus, nutrition tips and free healthy food packages help moms and babies eat healthy.

PRO PARENTING TIPS

Texas WIC is the perfect place to turn for your parenting questions. Whether you are pregnant and wondering what is safe for expecting moms to eat or you want help feeding your infant, Texas WIC has the answers. Plus, the program is free for qualifying Texas mothers. 

As your baby grows, Texas WIC offers tips and guidance about developmental milestones and how to care, feed your baby so they grow up healthy. 

SELF LOVE DURING AND AFTER PREGNANCY

Texas WIC also helps mothers stay healthy. A healthy mother helps create healthy babies. Texas WIC pros offer tips on how to eat, exercise and take care of you and your baby while you are pregnant and while breastfeeding. 

HEALTHY NUTRITION

Some might say the best part of Texas WIC is the free healthy food packages for WIC clients. The packages start when moms learn they are expecting. They are also adapted for children until they turn 5 years old.  So mom and babies can get free, nutritious foods like milk, bread, healthy cereal, baby formula, fruits and vegetables and so much more. The Texas WIC program is for qualifying Texas mothers and children up to age 5. To apply for Texas WIC, visit them online at Texaswic.org.

GROCERY SERVICES NORTH

Grocery Services North stores help WIC clients get all their WIC foods in one easy stop. Bilingual clerks help customers shop for their foods. Find out how easy WIC shopping can be, and visit a store today. Grocery Services North is a service provider for the WIC program, not a part of the WIC program.