WIC, Pregnancy and FREE Nutrition Help

Pregnancy, WIC Go Hand and Hand

Are you pregnant, and need a helping hand with your baby? Mothers can get nutrition help for free from Texas WIC program. 

It’s a great resource for qualifying expecting moms and moms of children up to age 5. The program provides nutrition education and free monthly food packages for expecting mothers. 

So what’s included in the WIC package? WIC provides pregnant mothers with access to healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, and protein. They also offer nutrition education to help you make healthy choices for yourself and your baby.

Once your baby arrives, they also provide breastfeeding support, nutrition counseling, and even free formula for your baby. The good news is you can apply for the FREE nutrition assistance before your baby arrives.

EXPECTING MOTHERS CAN APPLY FOR  NUTRITION HELP FROM TEXAS WIC

If you would like to apply to the program, visit TexasWIC.org/apply to find out if you qualify.

EASY WIC SHOPPING DURING PREGNANCY AND BEYOND

Let Grocery Services North show you how easy WIC grocery shopping can be. The primarily WIC grocery store chain helps WIC clients get all their WIC groceries in one easy, hassle-free stop. Locations in Dallas and Waco are located near WIC clinics for convenient access.  Find a location at groceryservicesnorth.com

WIC Nutrition Help

 

2022-02-28T20:09:33+00:00July 29th, 2021|Categories: Pregnancy, Texas WIC, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Healthy Pregnancy, Food & WIC

What You Eat During Pregnancy Matters

Are you craving ice cream or pickles? 

 Your body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy. Hormones are in overdrive. You are using extra energy to grow a tiny human. It’s understandable if you have a few cravings. 

While you might be tempted to feed all your cravings, you might have to keep some of them in check. If you are craving a huge green salad by all means go for it. If you want to take down an entire pint of ice cream  in one sitting – every day – you might want to consider moderation.

Some women might think that you get “permission” to gain a lot of weight once you are pregnant. But you might be surprised it’s normal to gain about 25 to 35 pounds, depending on your pre-pregnancy weight. Sticking to a healthy routine will also make your delivery and post delivery easier. 

For a healthy pregnancy, Texas WIC advises that women carrying multiple babies might gain more. If you are overweight you may need to gain less. Also, weight gain will happen slowly. During the first 3 months, women usually gain 1 to 5 pounds. In the last 6 months, it may be more like 1 pound per week. Texas WIC experts also  recommend that most women only need an additional 350 to 450 calories a day during the last 6 months. 

HEALTHY NUTRITION HABITS & WIC 

While pregnant or breastfeeding, Texas WIC nutritionists encourage mothers to eat foods with vitamin c (tomatoes, strawberries and oranges). They also recommend eating two foods with iron together like chicken and beans. Getting calcium from dairy and fiber from fruits and vegetables also helps you and your baby.

Keep in mind you are now eating to fuel yourself and help grow your baby.  You both need lots of nutrients to help keep you healthy.

You can get a wide array of nutrients by eating a variety of foods.  It may also help to write down the foods  you eat each day to help make sure you are getting a good mix. Make sure you are eating vegetables, fruit, dairy, protein and whole grains. 

If you would like more tips for a healthy pregnancy, Texas WIC also offers the following free classes online, including Healthy Eating, Healthy Pregnancy and Nutrition

The class offers guidance to mothers about eating healthy foods to help them and their baby, explains heartburn, nausea and constipation during pregnancy and also offers tips to help stay healthy. 

HEALTH PREGNANCY WIC CLASSES

To take the classes, visit the Texas WIC website. Texas WIC is a special supplemental nutrition program for Woman, Infants and Children. To find out if you qualify, visit a Dallas Area WIC Clinic.

2022-03-21T15:30:44+00:00January 26th, 2021|Categories: Meal Planning, Mom Health, Pregnancy|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

SNAP Welcome at Grocery Services North

We Accept SNAP

Did you know Grocery Services North, a primarily Dallas area WIC grocery store, also accepts SNAP? Our locations are near Dallas WIC Clinics  to help make it easier for WIC Clients to redeem theirGrocery Services North accepts SNAP benefits. While you are picking up your healthy WIC foods, you can also redeem your SNAP food benefits at our locations. Also during times of low availability of standard grocery items, traditional grocery stores may limit the amount or number of items that can be redeemed. At our stores we never limit your redemptions. If you are approved by the government for the benefit, you can redeem as much as you like. Many mothers on WIC also choose to use their SNAP benefit at our WIC store to purchase additional baby formula. Woman Infants and Children (WIC) is a nutrition supplement program to assist mothers get the healthiest start for their children, up to age 5. The program provides FREE nutrition education, breastfeeding support, classes and food packages for qualifying women. WIC clients may also be eligible for SNAP, a program to help adults buy food. If you are a SNAP client, you can pick up qualifying food products at any of our locations. SNAP BENEFITS INCREASING Governor Greg Abbott announced this week that beginning in January, SNAP recipients will receive a 15 percent increase in their total benefits, which will continue monthly until June 2021. The additional 15 percent increase and the emergency allotment amount should appear in recipients’ accounts by Jan. 23. “Thank you to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for extending these benefits and increasing the amount of benefits that Texas families will receive,” said Governor Abbott. “These emergency SNAP benefits continue to help put food on the table for many Texas families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.” Texans in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP and Medicaid, at YourTexasBenefits.com

Plan Weekly Menu With WIC Foods

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

Bring On 2021! Get Support from WIC

NEW YEAR, HEALTHY START: GET WIC SUPPORT

Every year people hope to turn over a new leaf in the New Year. People have big plans for 2021, and why not make it the Year of Everything is Possible? If you want this year to be your big year of health, start by getting support from WIC. 

WIC stands for Woman, Infant and Children and is a program designed to help mothers help their children get a healthy start in life. The program offers support with clinic visits, education classes and nutrition supplements for you and your children, including help with breastfeeding.

There is no better way to help your children than to be a great example.  WIC offers the tools you need to be a great example for you and your kids. Plus, they offer a ton of free resources to help along your health journey. 

If you haven’t applied for WIC, do so today. To get started, you can apply online

WIC SUPPORTS MOTHER’S HEALTH

To help be a healthy example for your kids, nutrition starts with mothers. WIC offers guidelines online about eating healthy. They even have suggested recipes to make at home. This time of year, their Chili recipe is perfect for New Year’s Day.

If you recently gave birth, WIC offers tips about how to get back to a healthy you, including getting enough sleep, getting back to a healthy weight and how to care for your emotional health. Baby blues are a real thing. If you think you are suffering from postpartum depression, there are resources.

WIC SUPPORTS CHILDREN’S HEALTH

No one is taught how to feed babies or children until they become a mother. We have to learn. WIC is a great teacher. They provide many resources on breastfeeding, how to use and mix formula and handle a picky eater

WIC SUPPORT

Grocery Services North, a Primarily WIC grocery store chain, is also here to help. Our locations are located near WIC clinics, to help make it super easy to get your WIC groceries. Simply insert your WIC card in our card reader at the front counter and tell our staff which WIC-approved foods you would like to take home. We collect them for you to take home. Super easy and fast! Find a location near you today. Happy New Year!

2021-04-07T20:46:22+00:00December 30th, 2020|Categories: Texas WIC|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Recipe Using WIC Foods Perfect For Toddler

This is a super easy, kid-favorite recipe that is made with WIC foods. It’s also a great one to try when your toddler is ready to start eating solids.

For toddlers, these mini pancakes are the perfect finger food. They are also easy to make and use two WIC-approved foods. Pair with fresh fruit and you will have a well-rounded breakfast (or snack) any day of the week.  Store any remaining pancakes in the fridge up to 3 days or freeze up to a few months. Find WIC foods at any Grocery Services North location.

Healthy Mini Banana Pancakes

1 banana

2 eggs, beaten

Dash of cinnamon

Cooking spray

Fresh Fruit for topping or served on side

Mash the banana with a fork in a small bowl. Mash until as smooth as possible. It’s okay if there are small lumps in the batter. Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Add the beaten eggs and cinnamon to the bowl with the banana. Mix to combine until a batter is formed.  Coat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Pre-heat pan to medium-high heat.  Once the pan is hot, spoon a tablespoon into the pan to form mini pancakes. Cook for a few minutes before flipping and cooking an additional 2 minutes on the other side.  Top with fresh fruit and serve warm. Added Bonus: You can freeze these! Just put them in a container in the freezer. You can reheat in the skillet or microwave when ready to enjoy!

Texas WIC Helps Mom & Toddler + More!

Texas WIC is a perfect tool to help mom raises heathy babies, toddlers and children up to age 5.

It’s a supplemental nutrition program for expectant mothers and their children up to age 5 who meet certain criteria. The program provides nutrition counseling and support, free monthly food packages and breastfeeding support. To find out if you may be eligible, visit TexasWIC.org to apply. Get the ingredients for your smoothie at Grocery Services North, a primarily WIC grocery store chain in Dallas and Waco. To find a location near you, visit GroceryServicesNorth.com/locations.

Join WIC During Pregnancy

You are Pregnant…now what? Join WIC.

You just got the most exciting news: You are going to be a new mommy!  Your mind is already swirling. There is so much to do: announce the big news to friends and family, pick the perfect name, and find the perfect onesie to bring your baby home.   Take a deep breath. You have roughly 9 months to get ready.  Before you get ahead of yourself, some of the most important items on the ‘To-Do’ list will be how to take care of yourself and the growing baby inside your belly. 

Once you become pregnant some of your most routine habits might need to be adjusted to keep you and your baby healthy. Everything from your sleep and exercise habits to your morning cup of coffee should be examined to make sure they are safe during pregnancy. The most important advice for pregnant women is to visit your doctor as soon as you find out you are expecting and attend all scheduled visits up until delivery and immediately afterward. Always remember to talk to your doctor about any questions and concerns. 

WIC PREGNANCY

Expecting Texas mothers can also see if they qualify to become a WIC client. The WIC program is 100% free. It’s aimed to help pregnant and breastfeeding mothers get a healthy start for their infants and children up to age five. WIC recipients can take home free nutritious food such as fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, and even specialty formula to make sure you are getting your baby off to the healthiest start. Texas WIC also offers access to free nutritional classes and visits to WIC-approved clinics. To find a WIC Clinic near you, visit this site. Your team of health professionals will provide individual guidance about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle for you and your baby, but here are some important tips to help get started along your healthy WIC pregnancy journey:

DIET, VITAMINS WHILE EXPECTING

You are now eating for two. That doesn’t mean you eat twice as much as you did before you were pregnant. Discuss with your doctor your target calorie intake. Your daily calorie goal will vary based on your pre-pregnancy weight. There are, however, some guidelines that will apply to most pregnancies. It’s important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables so your baby has all the right vitamins to grow. Pregnant women should eat a healthy mix of fruits, vegetables, dairy, and lean protein while avoiding calories loaded with extra fat and sugar. It’s important to get nutrients like iron, fiber, and calcium. One of the most important nutrients you consume might be folic acid. Getting enough folic acid –  from the start of your pregnancy – has been proven to help prevent birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine. You can get folate from foods such as dark leafy greens like spinach, beans, lentils and whole-grain cereals and breads that are fortified with folic acid. It’s also often found in prenatal vitamins. Pregnant women should NOT consume unpasteurized milk, cheese, or juice. Consuming undercooked meat, eggs or fish is also harmful.  Expected mothers should cook lunch meat or hot dogs until it steams before eating. Pregnant women can eat fish low in mercury levels (up to 12 ounces) twice a week.  Fish that are safe to eat include shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, and catfish. However, Albacore tuna and tuna steak should be limited to more than 6 ounces per week. Eating fish high in mercury can be harmful to your baby. Women should stop drinking alcoholic beverages and limit caffeine while pregnant.  Drinking alcohol can cause premature birth and birth defects. Too much much caffeine can cause low birth weight. Pregnant mothers can replace their caffeine intake with water. Staying hydrated helps you and your baby. Also, don’t forget to take your prenatal vitamins daily. Your doctor can also recommend one that is right for you. Texas WIC can also help you navigate how to eat right if you are pregnant. You can also get your nutritious WIC foods at a Grocery Services North location.

SELF CARE DURING PREGNANCY

Being pregnant can be very stressful. The right self care (a healthy diet, being active, and getting enough rest) are tools you can discuss with your doctor to help make your pregnancy easier.  If you exercised regularly before becoming pregnant, discuss any modifications that are needed with your doctor. If exercise wasn’t part of your daily routine, create a plan with your physician.   The right amount of exercise might vary throughout your pregnancy, but getting the right mix of activity can help reduce stress and help you sleep better. It can also lower the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. Consider going for a walk or taking a prenatal yoga class. 

TIPS FROM Texas WIC DURING PREGNANCY

  1. Keep all of your clinic appointments and follow the advice of your doctor.
  2. Take prenatal vitamins and any medications your doctor gives you.
  3. Brush and floss your teeth regularly.
  4. Relax and get help from friends and family.

For more tips and to join WIC during pregnancy, visit a Texas WIC office near you or sign up for a class by visiting  Texas WIC’s online classes.    

2022-03-18T16:08:19+00:00December 11th, 2020|Categories: Pregnancy, Texas WIC, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Tuna Melts: Easy Dinner With Healthy WIC Food

Tuna Melts: Easy Dinner With WIC Ingredients

Tuna packs a nutritional punch, and is a very healthy WIC food choice! It offers protein, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B-12 and omega 3. If you are pregnant, you must eat tuna and other high mercury fish in moderation, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid it.  Pregnant and nursing mothers may eat up to 12 ounces of canned light tuna or other low mercury fish a week.  Canned Albacore tuna has higher mercury so it is only advised to eat 6 ounces a week. It’s also important that tuna is fully cooked and not raw, health experts advise. If you are pregnant, the omega-3 fatty acids in tuna also help your baby grow, especially in the development of your baby’s brain. 

TEXAS WIC PROGRAM

TexasWIC is a special supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children. To find out if you qualify, visit a Dallas Area WIC Clinic. You can also look through our list of WIC-approved food products at the official Grocery Services North website.

HEALTHY WIC FOOD INSPIRED RECIPE 

There are plenty of ways to eat your weekly serving of tuna, whether it be a classic salad sandwich or wrap. The healthy WIC food recipe below makes for a great sandwich, or can be enjoyed plain. Here’s the recipe that uses WIC-inspired ingredients:   

SKILLET TUNA PATTY MELTS

3 cans of tuna 4 potatoes, peeled 1 tomato, sliced 1/3 head of lettuce 1 avocado Vegetable oil Dash of salt, pepper Boil potatoes until cracked. Mash potatoes. Drain 3 cans of tuna. Add tuna into the boil of mashed potatoes. Mix together. Add three eggs, dash of salt and pepper. Mix until combined. Form patties in your hand. Add oil to the pan. Cook patties on medium heat. Serve with lettuce, tomato and avocado. Enjoy while hot!