FD: 10 Issuing Iron-Fortified Formulas

Effective Date: 01/96 Downloads: PDF Version    Revised Date: 06/15


The WIC Program advocates breastfeeding as the ideal method of infant feeding for the first year of life. When breastfeeding is not possible or is discontinued prior to the first birthday, WIC advocates iron-fortified infant formula for normal, healthy, full-term infants. WIC does not provide cow’s or goat’s milk to infants.

Because routine milk-based and soy-based infant formulas of different brands are nutritionally comparable to other non-contract formulas, WIC issues contract brands to all infants unless there is a documented medical need for a special formula. The WIC Program is able to serve more people because of the rebates received from the contract formula manufacturers.



Issue current contract iron-fortified infant formula in either the concentrated or powdered form. Refer to: Policy FD: 4 Authorized WIC Foods for names of specific formulas.


Milk-Based Formula:

All participants should be issued the current contract iron-fortified milk based formula. If intolerance is reported, question the parent/guardian to make sure the intolerance is not caused by feeding, preparation or storage problems. If symptoms appear to be due to these problems listed above, provide appropriate counseling and/or refer the participant to a healthcare provider. Continue to issue the contract formula. Participants will be referred back to their health care provider for evaluation if the cause cannot be determined. WIC clinic staff are not to offer or diagnose possible medical problems, nor are they to prescribe an alternate formula to try.


Lactose-Free Formula:

A participant can request a lactose-free, milk-based formula for either a medical condition (lactose intolerance, galactosemia) or personal preference. WIC staff may issue lactose free formulas without a prescription and without a dietitian or nutritionist approval. Reminder: When formula feeding milk based formula issuance is preferred.


Soy-Based Formula:

WIC staff may issue soy-based formula without a prescription and without a dietitian or nutritionist approval.  Soy-based formulas may be used with galactosemia or for a vegetarian diet. Reminder: When formula feeding milk based formula issuance is preferred.


Ready-To-Feed/Ready-to-Use Formula

Contract ready-to-feed formula will only be issued due to one or more of the following conditions:

  • The participant’s household has unsanitary or restricted water supply.
  • The participant’s household has poor or no refrigeration.
  • The parent/caretaker or participant is unable to correctly dilute or prepare the formula due to physical or mental disability.
  • The WIC infant formula is only available in the ready to feed form.
  • The powdered formula contains an allergen product in the ingredients that the RTF does not contain.

When issuing RTF formula, WIC staff will document the reason for its issuance in the progress notes of the participants certification file. The continued issuance of RTF formulas will be evaluated and documented at each subsequent certification.