Ways WIC Helps Moms, Babies

Mothers only want the best for their babies, and that usually starts with the news you are expecting. Luckily for qualifying Texas residents there is a program that helps mothers make sure their nutritional needs are being met to help ensure the best healthy start for their babies. Texas WIC offers nutrition education, free supplemental foods and support for moms and babies.

Here are some of the best ways Texas WIC offers help to expecting moms and moms with children up to age 5.

  1. WIC provides supplemental foods to qualifying pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women.
  2. WIC helps to improve the health of pregnant women and their babies. That includes providing baby formula to babies in need.
  3. WIC provides nutrition education and counseling to help participants make healthy food choices. 
  4. WIC helps participants access other social services. 
  5. WIC has been shown to reduce the incidence of low birth weight babies, according to studies on USDA’s website.

If you want to learn more about Texas WIC, visit their website at texaswic.org. You can also apply on online at texaswic.org/apply.

For easy WIC grocery shopping, visit JC Food Mart stores in San Antonio. Bilingual clerks help WIC clients get all their WIC foods in one easy stop. There are 10 stores throughout San Antonio. Visit today to find out how easy WIC shopping can be. Find a store near you at jcfoodmart.com/locations

Product Spotlight: Nicho’s Best Soup Mix

All The Vegetables You Need To Make Homemade Soup In One Bag!

If you are looking for an amazing family meal this winter, pick up Nicho’s Best Soup Mix at JC Food Mart. 

This soup mix comes with fresh vegetables to make a hearty, homemade soup for your family. Inside the bag are the fresh vegetables you need to start your soup: cabbage, carrots, potato, celery, squash, corn and bell pepper.  

Cut and dice these veggies to start the base of your homemade soup. Add water, and any additional spices and seasonings you like to make it your own. Add any combination of your favorite soup flavors, including any rinsed and drained canned beans, peppers, canned tomatoes or sauces, garlic, garlic powder, Italian seasonings, cumin, salt and pepper. 

Your homemade soup will definitely be a family favorite. 

Pick up your Best Soup Mix at any JC Food Mart in San Antonio. JC Food Mart makes it easy to redeem all your WIC benefits in one easy stop. Find a location near you, and visit today!

 

WIC Produce Benefits Update

Expanded Dollar Amount For Fruit, Vegetable Benefits Offered Through Sept. 2023

Good news! Texas WIC’s temporary fruit and vegetable dollar amount increase is now being offered through September 30, 2023!  The increased dollar amount for WIC produce benefits (fruits and vegetables) are for the following amounts:

  • Children get $25 each month 
  • Pregnant, postpartum and some breastfeeding clients get $44 each month 
  • Fully and partially breastfeeding clients get $49 each month 

Texas WIC professionals provided the following example: if you are pregnant and have two children (ages 1-5) receiving WIC, you will get $94 ($44 mom + $25 child + $25 child = $94) to buy fruit and vegetables. 

You will see this new amount on your shopping list under your benefit amount, according to Texas WIC.

The fruit and vegetable benefits are expected to return to the normal amounts on Oct. 1, 2023.  WIC clients can use their benefits to buy fruits and vegetables that are fresh, frozen and in cans, glass jars and plastic containers.

USE WIC PRODUCE BENEFITS FOR THESE RECIPES

Pick up all your WIC foods at JC Food Mart. There are 10 San Antonio locations to help you get your WIC foods in one easy, fast top. Visit today to find out how easy WIC shopping can be. Here are a few recipes using WIC-approved fruits, vegetables you might like:

Two Recipes Featuring WIC Foods

Ratatouille Recipe

For even more recipes, visit our blog.

WIC Inspired Recipe

Lemon Alfredo Bowties with Tuna & Peas

1 lb whole wheat pasta

1 cup frozen peas

2 cans tuna
Juice from ½ lemon 

(Add lemon zest to bring out more lemon flavor)

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 ½ cups whole milk
½ stick butter

1 ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese 

(Mozzarella works great too – Just be sure not to use pre-shredded cheese!)

¼ cup flour

Season with pepper, onion powder, & oregano to your taste

Boil pasta with 1 tablespoon of salt for 10-12 minutes, or suggested cook time on package. 

Drain & set aside. In the same pot, heat olive oil at medium high heat and add minced garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until golden. Add tuna and break up into smaller pieces. Add lemon zest and lemon juice, cook for 3 minutes, then add butter and half of the shredded cheese. Slowly add in milk and flour, while stirring well. Turn the heat down to medium and bring to a simmer while stirring often. Add in peas, and the other half of the shredded cheese. Cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring often, then turn off the heat. Slowly mix in the pasta. 

Top with more shredded cheese if you like!

Enjoy!

Mom Hacks Using WIC Food

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

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

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

PREGNANCY HACKS

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

TIME SAVING COOKING HACKS FOR MOMS

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

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

BERRY YOGURT POPSICLES

1 ½ bananas (mom can eat the other half)

16 ounces of yogurt (any flavor)

4 ounces of blueberries

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

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

 

CRAFTY PROJECTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

Join WIC During Pregnancy

3 Reasons To Join WIC

Cheers to 2023!

Fill Your Bowl With Symbols Of A Year-To-Come Filled With Luck, Money

It’s almost 2023! Bringing in a New Year has a set of customs and traditions. The ball drops at Midnight. Some watch fireworks light up the sky. Some may attend parties and others may cuddle up for a movie or book at home. 

New Year’s Day traditions center around food! Many people celebrate New Year’s Day with Blacked Eyed Peas, which symbolizes a year filled with good luck. Others may eat something green, like Cabbage or Greens, to symbolize a year filled with money. 

This recipe combines ‘luck’ and ‘money’ into one simple, delicious Near Year’s Day meal or side you and your family will love. Cheers to a year filled with luck and money!

BLACK-EYED PEAS

3 cups of black eyed peas (you can use canned, frozen, or dry!)

1 can of diced tomatoes 

½ head of cabbage, diced

½ onion, diced

1 lg carrot, diced

1 jalapeno, seeds removed & finely diced

4 cups of chicken broth

Salt, Pepper, Paprika, Oregano

Note: You can also use any of these leftovers you may have in you fridge to step it up a notch: 

Corn, bacon, ham, or a ham bone

Add all ingredients to a slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high heat, season to taste.

Pick up all your WIC foods in one easy stop at any JC Food Mart location.

2 Great Recipes Using WIC Foods

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

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

BAKED POTATO SOUP

5 large russet potatoes, diced

1 teaspoon salt

5 slices thick cut bacon

1 large onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tablespoon butter

¼ cup flour

3 cups Chicken broth

2 cups milk

1 cup sour cream

½ teaspoon pepper

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

1/8 cup green onion chives, finely diced

Helpful Tips: 

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

Plain Greek Yogurt can be used instead of sour cream.

Instructions:

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

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

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

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

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

Remove from heat.

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

Serve & enjoy!

 

Frijoles WIC

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

3 BEAN CHILI

1 onion, diced

1 tablespoon of minced garlic

3 celery stalks, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 jalapeno, diced

1 can of diced tomatoes with chilies

1 can of kidney beans, drained

1 can of black beans

2 cans of pinto beans, drained

1 tablespoon of butter or oil

Optional for topping:

Green onions

Cheese and/or sour cream

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

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

Pick up all your WIC-approved beans and other WIC foods in one easy stop at any JC Food Mart store. There are 10 locations in San Antonio.

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

 

WIC Inspired Recipes – Blackberry Banana Bread

Try out this unique take on a classic banana bread recipe using WIC approved products like bananas, eggs, and blackberries! This warm and comforting treat is perfect to serve Thanksgiving morning, or any time this winter.

BLACKBERRY BANANA BREAD

4 bananas

2 eggs

1 stick of butter

1 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups of flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

big pinch of salt

1.5 cups of blackberries

4 oz of chocolate chips/chunks (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare all the ingredients. Prepare the pan by buttering it or using non-stick spray. Use either a 9×5-inch loaf pan or a 10 inch round cake pan.
In a small pot melt the butter, take it off the heat and let it cool. In a small bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together. Set aside.
Add the eggs and sugar to a mixing bowl, whisk quickly for 5 minutes until the mixture is pale, light and foamy. Add the mashed bananas, vanilla extract, and melted butter, mix until just combined. Slowly add the flour mixture into the batter, stir in with a spatula, until partially combined. Add the chocolate pieces and about 1 cup of blackberries, fold in gently, taking care not to over mix. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan, and lay the remaining blackberries on the top. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. It may run longer or shorter in your oven and depending on what pan you are using. After about 45 minutes, check if the top is not browning too much, if it is – cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil.
Enjoy!

 

Texas WIC’s Expanded Fruit & Vegetable Benefits Extended Thru Dec. 16

The WIC Fruit, Vegetable Bump Extended Thru Dec. 16

Texas WIC’s extended fruit and vegetable benefits are now extended thru December! Congress approved the expanded benefits last week, which were set to expire at the end of September.

The new benefits are now available thru Dec. 16.

According to Texas WIC, “Participants who receive the increased benefits in December are able to redeem them throughout the entire month.”

According to Texas WIC, the new Cash Value Benefits (CVB) amounts for fruits and vegetables are:

  • $25 monthly for children
  • $44 monthly for pregnant and postpartum participants
  • $49 monthly for fully and partially breastfeeding participants
  • $73.50 for mothers breastfeeding multiple children

The expanded WIC fruit and vegetable benefits was expected to return to $11 for pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women and $9 for children Oct. 1.

WIC clients should contact a local WIC office if they have questions about these benefits.

WIC clients can get all their WIC groceries in one easy stop at any JC Food Mart ocation in San Antonio. There are 10 stores conveniently located near WIC clinics. Find a location online.

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