Need Help With Food? WIC, SNAP Can Help

Sometimes everyone needs a helping hand with their groceries. Food assistance programs – like Woman, Infant and Children (WIC) and SNAP – can offer much needed help putting food on your table so you don’t have to worry how you are going to get your next meal.

WOMAN, INFANT & CHILDREN (WIC)

Texas WIC provides free food assistance for pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women and children up to age 5. The program is for Texas residents that meet  income requirements. WIC recipients get free nutrition counseling and education, breastfeeding support and food assistance to help ensure children get a healthy start. 

WIC participants get their monthly food package benefits loaded onto an ebt card that can be redeemed for WIC foods. 

Pregnant mothers may get food packages that include cereal, beans, dairy, fruits & vegetables and more. Infant children would qualify for a food package that includes baby formula and baby food. Older children would qualify for packages that include milk, eggs, cheese, bread, fruits & vegetables and more. To learn more about food packages visit WIC online

The program is a great tool for mothers to ensure that their babies are getting the right nutrition that they need. Afterall, baby formula is expensive, and you don’t need to worry if your little one will have enough.  Apply online at TexasWIC.org/apply.

SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP)

SNAP , sometimes called a food stamp program, is a food assistance program that loads benefits onto an ebt card, used like a debit card, called the Lone Star Card, to pay for groceries. To see if you qualify, visit YourTexasBenefits.com

MAXIMIZING FOOD STAMP BENEFITS

If you qualify for both programs, understanding key differences can help you maximize your benefits. 

WIC expires at the end of each month. If not used, SNAP rolls over to the next month to be used later. To maximize food stamp benefits, use WIC benefits first. Any SNAP benefits you don’t use during the month can roll to the next month up to a year.  If you don’t use WIC benefits during the month it was issued, you lose them. To maximize all your benefits, use WIC first and roll what you don’t use for SNAP to the next month.

WIC is geared toward paying for nutritious food for growing children up to age 5. SNAP can be used for adults and older children. 

Also, some WIC clients that have both WIC and SNAP use their SNAP benefits for extra baby formula for their little ones if it is needed.

Grocery Services North can help you avoid the hassle redeeming any of your food benefits. We cater to families that need food assistance. Because our staff is familiar with food assistance programs, you won’t have any hassle at check out, and you will be in and out with nutritious food for your family in one easy stop. 

Grocery Services North stores provide all the food categories for the WIC program so you don’t have to search aisles trying to determine what qualifies for WIC. We also accept SNAP. To find a location near you, visit GroceryServicesNorth.com/locations.

3 Reasons To Join Texas WIC

WIC Program Helps Mothers Raise Healthy Babies

Texas WIC can be a mother’s best friend. Many moms and their children across Texas are benefiting from this nutritional supplement program aimed at getting babies off to a healthy start. It’s a FREE program for eligible mothers and their children up to age 5.

If you haven’t heard about this amazing program or aren’t sure of it’s benefits, we are giving you our top 3 reasons to Join Texas WIC:

WIC for Mothers

1. MOTHER’S HEALTH

There are few better ways to help a baby grow healthy than by helping an expecting mother with nutrition and health. A healthy mother can help create a healthy baby. That’s why the program is open to pregnant women.

The Texas WIC program helps mothers with nutrition counseling and guidance along the way. There are so many health considerations to make once you become pregnant: What should I eat? Should I exercise? How much? Am I getting the right nutrients? It can all be a lot to take in for any mother, but Texas WIC nutritionists can be there along the way to help you make healthy choices.

One of the best parts is that Texas WIC provides free, nutritious food package supplements each month to help you eat healthy in order to give the baby (and you) the nutrition you need during pregnancy.

Once the baby arrives, they are also there for support. WIC experts help with breastfeeding guidance and nutrition support for your child up to age 5. That means there is help for so many of the concerns you have as a new mother, like: “Am I feeding my baby the right way and enough” Texas WIC offers FREE counseling and guidance to so many of these health questions.

2. YOUR CHILD’S HEALTH WIC for babies

Texas WIC is an amazing gift for your child. The program ensures that your baby doesn’t go without healthy nutrition. Aside from breastfeeding support, Texas WIC even pays for baby formula (which can be very expensive). If your baby needs a special baby formula, it will pay for that too with a doctor’s prescription. As the child gets older, the free monthly food package changes with your child’s needs.

Keeping your child fed with the right nutrition isn’t the only support you will get. Texas WIC also offers free counseling and guidance to help make sure your baby is growing healthy. There are even free online nutrition classes.

WIC groceries3. JOIN TEXAS WIC FOR FREE NUTRITIONAL FOOD

There is no better benefit than free, nutritious food for you and your baby. Knowing your baby is getting the nutrition they need is enough to calm almost any anxious mother. The best part is that it’s free to qualifying mothers and their babies.

Each month Texas WIC will load benefits onto an ebt card. WIC clients can use this card to redeem their benefits for WIC foods at stores. The food benefits will change as your baby grows and has different needs. The food packages can cover everything from baby formula and baby food to milk, cheese, yogurt, beans, whole wheat bread, tortillas and pasta and fresh fruits and vegetables.

To make it even easier, Grocery Services North locations are open near Dallas and Waco area WIC clinics to help WIC clients redeem their benefits in an easy shopping format. Grocery Services North stores are not affiliated with WIC – but are a Primarily WIC grocery store – which means they mostly carry only WIC-approved items. At Grocery Services North, WIC clients don’t have to go searching for WIC items in the store. Instead, they simply walk up to a counter where a staff member will walk them through the shopping process for getting their WIC groceries. It’s a super easy and convenient way to get your WIC groceries.

JOIN TEXAS WIC TODAY

Want to find out if you qualify for Texas WIC? The program is open to pregnant women, breastfeeding women, infants and families with children under age 5. There are also income requirements to qualify for the program. If you would like to join Texas WIC, you can start your application today by visiting: https://texaswic.org/apply

You may soon learn what so many families already know: Texas WIC can be a mother’s best friend.

Grocery Services North Announces Special Hours May 1

Grocery Services North All Grocery Services North locations will be open Saturday May 1st. The stores will be open from 8am to 4pm.  Grocery Services North is observing special hours May 1st to help its clients have access to WIC groceries on the first day of the month, which falls on a Saturday. “We know a lot of our customers do their shopping on the first day of the month. We want to help accommodate their needs, so we are extending our hours,” said Cristina Torres, store manager.  Grocery Services North is a primarily WIC grocery store chain in Dallas and Waco. The stores offer WIC clients an easy, friendly and convenient way to shop for WIC groceries. SNAP, or Food Stamps, are also accepted.  To find a location near you, visit GroceryServicesNorth.com/locations. (more…)

2022-03-18T15:12:36+00:00April 5th, 2021|Categories: Grocery Services North|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

March Is National Nutrition Month®

You may have heard: It’s National Nutrition Month®! The campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics helps create awareness throughout the month to help raise awareness to eat healthy and get active with “Personalize your Plate.”  Among the tips are:

  1. Eat a variety of healthy foods every day.
  2. Plan your meals each week
  3. Learn skills to create tasty meals
  4. Consult a Registered Dietician Nutritionist when needed.

The organization has created a great website full of recipes, tips and guides for healthy eating in March in beyond. Their experts also offer great tips for expecting moms and mothers feeding babies and children.  (more…)

2022-03-18T15:27:05+00:00March 22nd, 2021|Categories: Child Health, Mom Health, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Grocery Services North Opening Friday Feb. 19th

Grocery Services North plans to open tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 19, 2020 at 10am. Starting Saturday we will resume regular hours.
 
We have been closed the first part of this week due to extreme winter weather.
 
Grocery Services North will resume these hours as long as locations have full electrical power and staff is able to get to work safely. Should there be any change to this schedule due to unforeseen circumstances, we will provide updates on our Facebook page.
 
We accept WIC and SNAP. We do not limit redemptions.
 
Stay Safe!
2022-03-18T15:13:25+00:00February 18th, 2021|Categories: Dallas, Grocery Services North|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

Importance of Folic Acid During Pregnancy

Folic Acid & Pregnancy

Vitamin C helps fight colds.  Calcium builds strong healthy bones. Folic acid can help prevent birth defects in babies. If you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, it’s important to get enough folic acid.

Women who have never been pregnant may not be aware of the importance of folic acid during pregnancy.  It’s not a nutrient most of us talk about –  unless you are considering becoming pregnant.

Folate is a type of Vitamin B found in the body that is important to the process of making new cells and to the creation of the neural tube that forms a baby’s brain and spinal cord.  These developments happen during the first month of pregnancy, which is why mothers need to have enough folate before they become pregnant.

Without enough folate a baby is at risk of being born with severe birth defects such as spina bifida.

If a woman can become pregnant, it is recommended she take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid (the man-made version of folate) daily to help prevent birth defects, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.  

Women can get the recommended amount by taking a vitamin with folic acid and/or eating foods high in folate.

WIC FOODS & FOLIC ACID

The Texas WIC program, an educational and nutritional resource for expecting mothers, outlines that folate (the natural form of folic acid) can be found naturally in foods such as:  

  • Broccoli, 
  • Asparagus
  • Lima beans, dried beans, and peas
  • Spinach and turnip greens
  • Oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit
  • Nuts and sunflower seeds

Some rice, pasta, bread, and breakfast cereals are also enriched with folic acid.

Getting enough folic acid is just one way a woman can help ensure she has a healthy pregnancy. Visit a Texas WIC clinic near you to see if you are eligible for the free program aimed at helping Texas mothers ensure they have a healthy pregnancy. You can find a clinic by visiting our location page. Shop Grocery Services North for healthy fruits and vegetables.

2022-03-21T15:31:38+00:00January 19th, 2021|Categories: Baby Food, Child Health, Pregnancy, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

WIC Milk

Today Is National Milk Day

Let’s Celebrate Milk

Today, Jan. 11th, is National Milk Day, we celebrate milk – your first drink.  Milk in all forms provides an array of vitamins and nutrients for babies for more than their first few years. So let’s celebrate milk, in all of it’s forms – breastmilk, formula and dairy milk.  It is believed that National Milk Day commemorates the day the first milk deliveries in glass bottles began in the United States.   Milk from mom is likely the first place you ever get milk.  Nutritionists at Texas WIC want mother’s to know the importance of breast milk.  (more…)

2022-03-16T15:04:46+00:00January 11th, 2021|Categories: Baby Food, Baby Formula, Child Health, WIC Food, WIC Nutrition|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