Nutritious Foods

The Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Program promotes healthy habits and healthy families.

  • Breastfeed your baby
  • Drink less juice and sweetened beverages
  • Eat more fiber
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Eat more whole grains
  • Lower the fat
  • Make family meals matter

To help participants practice these habits, WIC provides basic nutritious foods to eligible pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, as well as infants and children. These foods are rich in protein, iron, calcium, fiber and vitamins.

Participants exchange WIC food instruments (which list specific foods and quantities) and cash-value vouchers (for fruits and vegetables) at authorized retail grocery stores and pharmacies. In some cases, special formulas are distributed directly to the participant from the WIC local agency.

Foods for Infants (Birth to 12 Months)

The Program strongly encourages and provides support for breastfeeding. It recognizes that breastfeeding is the best method of infant feeding and nurturing. However, formula-fed infants receive the WIC contract standard milk- and soy-based iron-fortified infant formula for the first year of life. Beginning at six months of age, infants may also receive iron-fortified infant cereal, and infant fruits and vegetables. Infants who are fully breastfed also receive infant meats.

In some cases, infants may require a formula other than the WIC contract standard milk- or soy-based formulas. Before a WIC agency can issue any formula other than the contract standard milk- or soy-based formula, the participant must obtain a completed prescription from a physician or health care provide. However, please note that the only standard milk- or soy-based formulas provided by the North Carolina WIC Program are those on the current contract; other standard brands are not provided. See the WIC Medical Documentation (PDF) (439 KB).


  • Infant Cereal
  • Infant Formula
  • Infant Fruits and Vegetables
  • Infant Meats (for fully breastfed infants only)
  • Mother's Breastmilk

Foods for Women & Children

Women and children (one to five years of age) participating in WIC receive food instruments and cash-value vouchers for a variety of healthy foods. The choices may include whole-grain cereal and bread, brown rice, whole-wheat and soft-corn tortillas; milk; cheese or tofu; eggs; peanut butter; dried or canned beans, peas or lentils; fruit or vegetable juices; and fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen or canned). Women who exclusively breastfeed their babies receive larger quantities of foods as well as canned tuna or salmon. Special formulas or nutritional supplements are also available to women and children participants with certain medical conditions. Before a WIC agency can issue any formula or nutritional supplement, the participant must obtain a prescription from a physician or health care provider. See the WIC Medical Documentation (PDF) (439 KB).


  • Cereal
  • Cheese
  • Dried or Canned Beans, Peas and Lentils
  • Eggs
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Juice
  • Milk
  • Peanut Butter
  • Soy-Based Beverage
  • Tofu
  • Whole-grain Bread, Brown Rice, Whole-wheat and Soft-corn Tortillas
  • Yogurt

Additional Foods for Women who Solely Breastfeed

  • Chunk-light Tuna or Salmon
  • Larger quantities of the foods for all women and children