Women, Infant and Children
40th Anniversary of the WIC Program
The National WIC Association is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the WIC program with a special anniversary website dedicated to shareable anniversary materials, resources, and a calendar of events. The anniversary theme, WIC: Strengthening Families for 40 Years, showcases how the WIC program is one of our country's most important public health programs and how it has enriched the lives of millions of families over the years. To illustrate what WIC does and how it helps strengthen families, the NWA is spotlighting the four main service elements: nutrition education, healthy food, breastfeeding support, and healthcare referrals. WIC helps ensure infants’ and children’s normal growth, reduces levels of anemia, increases immunization rates, improves access to regular health care/social services, and improves diets.
What Does WIC Do?
WIC provides nutrition education to participants. Moms meet with a nutritionist or registered dietitian and talk about what she is eating and what her family is eating. Nutrition education may be one-on-one, in group classes, or online and can include information about:
- Healthy eating during pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Developing healthy eating habits for kids
- Reading food labels when shopping
- How to cook healthy, delicious meals
- A tailored monthly food package from WIC. The foods vary depending on the nutrient needs of the mom and her kids during the stages of pregnancy, breastfeeding, infancy, and childhood. Only specific healthy foods can be purchased such as whole grains, dairy, fish, peanut butter, beans, and fruits and vegetables. WIC benefits can even be used at farmers’ markets in some states.
How Does it Strengthen Families?
- Helps improve healthful behaviors that are linked to reducing overweight in early childhood
- Leads to increased consumption of whole grains, fruits and lower-fat milk
- Participation in WIC reduces the risk of child abuse or neglect
- Children who drop out of WIC are less likely to be immunized compared to children who participate in WIC
- WIC children at ages 1 to 2 have less dental related Medicaid costs compared to children who do not participate in WIC
- WIC infants are in better health than eligible infants not participating in WIC
For the complete list of Georgia WIC Approved Formulas/Medical Foods, please visit us online at http://dph.georgia.gov/health-care-provider-information.
Georgia WIC Departmental Formula Shortage Notice to GAFP Members
Nestle had unforeseen manufacturing problems at the plant that produces the Nestle Complete Pediatric line including both the Reduced Calorie and Standard Calorie products. This problem occurred in November. However, this has not been a problem for clients until warehousers/shippers like our supplier in the state of Georgia, Cardinal, ran out of the product. Nestle does not have these products to ship directly either.
What does this mean for our Physicians and Families?
Complete Pediatric Product Line:
1.) Nestle does not have an estimated end date for the shortage caused by the problem in one of its manufacturing plants.
2.) Cardinal (our GA WIC State Ordered Formula Supplier) has 0 cases of Complete Pediatric Reduced Calorie in stock, and Nestle is unable to fill orders for this product at the present time.
3.) Cardinal has 11 cases of Complete Pediatric in stock. However, once this product is out of stock at Cardinal, Nestle will not be able to fill any orders until further notice.
4.) 1000 ml is the minimum volume to reach 100% of the DRI recommendations for a child age 1-8 y/o for the following products from Nestle: Nutren Junior, Complete Pediatric, and Complete Pediatric Reduced Calorie. Please note that since Complete Pediatric is a Reduced Calorie formula (.6kcal/ml vs. standard 1kcal/ml), a decision will need to be made for the best way to manage kcal and DRI needs for each child for the duration of this shortage. In addition, it is not mandatory that a physician continue with the same manufacturer.
An alternate temporary product for these tube fed participants will need to be identified, new MDF will need to be obtained, and new orders will need to be completed if there is a need or desire for state ordered product. We know this will be challenging. WIC representatives remain available to assist physician offices and staff through the process.
There are currently no other reduced calorie pediatric formulas that meet 100% of the DRI recommendations for these children. Physicians will need to consider that as they choose an alternate formula. In addition, parents will likely have their concerns about switching formulas around. Please have your staff use their counseling skills to help parents get through this challenge. The Georgia Department of Public Health has registered dietitians available to assist staff with any questions and concerns by calling the nutrition unit at 404-657-2884.
Georgia WIC Change - Family Physicians Need to Know
In a recent letter to providers from the Georgia Office of Nutrition and Women, Infants and Children (WIC), it was announced the new formula contractor is Nestle/Gerber. Beginning October 1, 2010, Gerber Good Start Gentle PLUS and Gerber Good Start Soy PLUS will become the new standard infant formulas. WIC eligible mothers who decide not to breast feed should be given one of these WIC contracted formulas unless an alternative formula is medically indicated.
Georgia's WIC policy indicates that lactose-reduced and/or rice-added standard formulas and special medical formulas are only available to WIC infants with documented special nutritional needs. Should you determine that an alternative formula is required, due to a qualifying medical condition, be sure to complete the medical documentation form #1. This form, along with additional WIC information, can be obtained on the GAFP website under Public Health Resources: http://www.gafp.org/women_infant_children.asp or from the Georgia Public Health website: http://dph.georgia.gov/health-care-provider-information-1
Inserted in this newsletter the WIC Formula Guide, provided for your reference. Contact GAFP Director of Outreach for additional information at (800) 392-3841.