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 their 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
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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
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.
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 TexasWIC.org PERFECT DURING PREGNANCY:
- Keep all of your clinic appointments and follow the advice of your doctor.
- Take prenatal vitamins and any medications your doctor gives you.
- Brush and floss your teeth regularly.
- Relax and get help from friends and family.
For more tips on how to be prepared for pregnancy, visit a Texas WIC office near you or sign up for a class by visiting Texas WIC’s online classes.
TEXAS WIC CLASSES AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
As soon as your baby is born you’re expected to know everything about taking care of an infant. You have to learn how to nurse your baby and everything the little one is trying to communicate every time they cry. There’s a lot to learn, but luckily Texas WIC offers a catalog of online classes for mothers. It’s all 100% free of charge.
If you are a Texas WIC client, taking the courses is part of the free program. It’s designed to help pregnant and breastfeeding mothers get a healthy start for their infants and children up to age 5. The program also offers access to its WIC clinics and provides free nutritional WIC-approved food.
Some of the classes are live during scheduled dates and times. Other classes are “Click and Learn” presentations.
Even if you aren’t part of Texas WIC, you can participate in some of the classes online. Topics range on everything from “What to Expect Year to Year,” “The Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression” and “Smart Snacks for Children”
There are even entertainment programs for kids. A “Live Story with Zobey” teaches kids basic counting skills and how fruits and vegetables grow in a garden. It also encourages trying new foods.
From Shopping and Cooking WIC Foods & More
There isn’t anything typical about 2020. Thanksgiving won’t be either. It might even be better than normal. We have tips for grocery shopping and recipes (including WIC foods) to activites for the whole family.
Health officials are also urging us to change how we celebrate Thanksgiving. Instead of large family gatherings, opt for a feast with just your household, they advise.
So maybe you won’t be traveling to grandma’s house this year, but you can still have some of your family traditions – even if it is smaller scale. Maybe you will even find a few new favorites to be thankful for this year.
The change of plans might mean you are preparing a bird and all the trimmings for the first time. Here are a few of our best tips if you are preparing a feast this year:
COOKING THE BIRD
There is no shortage of tips and tricks to cook a turkey, but the USDA has put all the essential information in one place. They cover how to select your turkey, how to defrost your bird, how to cook and store leftovers. All the details are on their website.
Plan and shop safely. If you are a WIC client, get as much as you can from a primarily WIC grocery store, like Grocery Services North. We can help you get your WIC shopping done and be in-and-out of the store in no time. You won’t have to spend extra time searching for WIC-approved items among all those that aren’t. Also, make a list of the items you need. It will also be helpful when you start planning your dinner. Don’t forget to wear a mask.
PLAN YOUR MEAL USING WIC FOOD
When it comes to preparing Thanksgiving dinner – no matter how big or small – preparation is everything. We can help plan your menu using WIC food.
- Review your recipes. Make sure you have a well-balanced meal that incorporates healthy fruits and vegetables. If you are looking for recipe inspiration, visit the collection at Texas WIC. There you can find great and healthy side dishes and desserts like apple crisp, cauliflower with lemon, citrus glazed carrots, fruit salad and roasted sweet potatoes.
- Keep it simple. One of the main themes of Thanksgiving Day 2020 is to keep it small. Even though we might miss spending the day with our extended family and friends, having a smaller gathering might also be less stressful. Keep your menu simple and well balanced too.
- Also, don’t forget about the leftovers. Texas WIC also has a few great recipes to help use up your leftover poultry: chicken and rice casserole and chicken tortilla soup.
FUN FOR THE KIDS
This may be the perfect year to incorporate a few new family traditions. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Let your kids help prepare a side or take part in the cooking. Of course, what they help prepare will depend on their age. Younger children can help make a side with your supervision. Toddlers can make crafts to decorate the table. Some fun ideas include turkeys made by tracing your hand.
- Older kids can also be in charge of setting up a group phone call with extended family and friends. You can FaceTime from an iPhone or Zoom, which is free for group calling (up to 100 people) for 40 minutes or less. Both options are free of charge.
- Everyone in the family can help prepare a side dish or help you research how to cook a bird online. It’s also a fun family tradition to tell others why you are thankful. You can write notecards for the table or take turns sharing a few words before you eat.
- Don’t forget to rest and have FUN!
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
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!