WIC Helps Families Access Safe Healthy Feeding Options

LENOIR, NC (May 16, 2022) – As families nationwide are facing challenges accessing infant formulas, Caldwell County’s Women Infants and Children (WIC) program continues to provide supplemental nutritious foods and nutrition education to participants.

“We are working closely with vendors and the state WIC office to ensure we have the supplies to meet the needs of the mothers and infants we serve,” said Laurie Elian, Caldwell County WIC Director.

To meet the requests of local WIC agencies, NC WIC is placing a high volume of formula orders and has shifted staff to meet the needs. They also offer the following recommendations for families:

• If an infant has been drinking or is prescribed a specific formula and the availability of safe products is limited, families should work with the child’s health care provider to determine the best feeding plan. For WIC participants with a specialized formula prescription, a medical provider must change the prescription. Talk with your child’s health care provider about possible options during the shortage.

• Families can turn to community organizations, reputable online retailers, distributors, and manufacturers as sources for finding formula.

• Families using a combination feeding of breast milk and iron-fortified infant formula may wish to consider increasing the frequency of breastfeeding or pumping to decrease the amount of formula needed. Families participating in WIC may also contact their local WIC clinic for additional breastfeeding support and breast pump issuance as appropriate.

Families should avoid:

Making homemade infant formula. Homemade formula recipes have not been evaluated by the FDA and may lack nutrients vital to an infant’s growth.

Watering down formula to stretch it out; it is not safe to do so. Always follow label instructions or those given to you by your health care provider.

Using toddler formula, cow’s milk and plant-based milk alternatives until a child’s first birthday.

Buying formula from online auctions or unknown individuals. Storage conditions may impact formula safety.

For more information, visit www.nutritionnc.com/wic.

Support the Caldwell Journal for as little as $1 a month through Patreon. Thank you!