Skip to main content

AHA says Updated WIC packages will enhance support for women, young children

Federal Updates

AHA says Updated WIC packages will enhance support for women, young children

April 17, 2024

Updated WIC packages will enhance support for women, young children

The American Heart Association says increased access to healthy, nutritious food critical to child development in the early years

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 9, 2024 — Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced final revisions to the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) food packages. Nancy Brown, chief executive of the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health that is celebrating 100 years of saving lives, issued the following statement:

“More than 6 million infants, young children and pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding people rely on WIC for healthy and affordable food, nutrition education, breastfeeding support and other services. The American Heart Association greatly values the USDA’s commitment to improving nutrition and food security by better aligning the WIC food packages with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA).

“The updated food packages will increase access to fruits, vegetables, whole grains and seafood, all of which provide nutrients to help young children develop and have a healthy future. The packages also will reduce the amount of added sugars by only allowing unflavored milk and setting added sugars limits for yogurt and plant-based milk alternatives. In addition, the revised program will encourage breastfeeding and better support WIC participants’ individual breastfeeding goals. We also applaud the increase to the monthly cash-value voucher for fruits and vegetables, a significant change that will provide participants with approximately half of the recommended daily intake for this food group.

“We are also pleased the new food packages expand the number of whole grain options WIC participants can select, such as quinoa, wild rice, whole wheat pita and naan. The USDA also took an important step by requiring 75% of cereals be whole grain to help ensure that families are getting the proper nutrition, but we are disappointed that the agency did not adopt a 100% requirement as proposed.

“WIC has a proven track record when it comes to promoting the health and development of pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding people and young children. Participation in the program has been shown to improve pregnancy and birth outcomes, reduce the risk of infant mortality, increase breastfeeding rates and cut the prevalence of childhood obesity, along with other positive results. WIC also can address disparities in nutrition security and maternal and child health outcomes for families with lower incomes and in communities of color.

“The final revisions are a significant step in the administration’s efforts to address nutrition security and health equity. The changes will provide new flexibilities that allow participants to choose food and beverages that meet their individual dietary needs, and personal and cultural preferences. The updated food package will build on the program’s long history of success in advancing maternal and child health and ensure that all children get a healthy start in life.”



About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for a century. During 2024 – our Centennial year – we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on heart.orgAHA’s Facebook pageAHA’s X page or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

For Media Inquiries:
Arielle Beer: 202-785-7902;
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and