NE: 6 Participant Contacts (New)

Effective Date: 07/09 Downloads: PDF Version    Revised Date: 10/16
   

Policy

Federal Regulations require that women and children participating in the WIC Program be offered four nutrition education contacts during each twelve-month certification period. Pregnant participants must be offered a nutrition education contact in each trimester of the pregnancy, while infants and children must be offered nutrition education at a quarterly rate. Local programs are encouraged to provide nutrition education to participants on a more frequent basis when possible. The nutrition education contact will be available through individual or family sessions, group classes or online lessons which are appropriate and relevant to the participant’s nutrition needs. WIC participants cannot be disqualified for non-participation in nutrition education. All attempts to schedule and re-schedule nutrition education contacts must be documented and retained on file.

Procedure

The first nutrition education contact is made at the time of certification and is an in-person interaction between the participant and the WIC certifier. This contact should include the following:

  1. Establishing an open communication channel between certifier and participant
  2. Explanation of nutritional risk(s) – summarize the reason why the participant is eligible for the program
  3. Nutrition education that is targeted to participant’s needs and interests

The second nutrition education contact can take place during an individual or family appointment, online or a group session (if not high-risk). This contact must be related to the participant’s nutritional risk(s) and interests.

LENGTH OF CERTIFICATION MIN # OF NE CONTACTS
11 – 12 months 4
8 – 10 months 3
7 or fewer months 2

 

The development of a care plan and the second nutrition education contact may occur during the same visit.

  1. A Nutrition Education Contact may be:
    • A group session (facilitated discussion groups, lesson with videos, lesson with activities, discussion group)
    • Individual counseling
    • Individual Care Plan
    • Online nutrition education (low risk eligible only)
  2. A Nutrition Education Contact will be:
    • provided by qualified staff who has completed the CPA Training Program
    • relevant to the participants category, interest and risk condition
    • address the participants stated questions and concerns
    • meet the language and cultural preferences of the participants
    • consist of accurate and current information
    • be documented appropriately in the client record

If several members of a family are WIC:

If the parent or caretaker is only able or willing to attend a limited number of second nutrition education contacts, follow the guidelines below:

  • Schedule appropriate high risk family members first.
  • For low risk family members in different categories, prioritize group education offering in the following order:
    1. Pregnant women
    2. Breastfeeding women
    3. Infant
    4. Child
    5. Postpartum
  • Local program staff may schedule family members with similar nutrition risks for a group education session that meets the needs of several family members
  • If participant/caretaker prefers to take a group nutrition education session that is not pertinent to the highest priority family member’s needs, schedule their preferred class first. After scheduling participant/caretaker preferred class, suggest scheduling a second class that pertains to highest priority member’s needs. Explain why that family member is considered a higher priority and how this class relates to their needs. With their permission schedule the second class. An approved online nutrition education contact can also be offered to be completed for / by the remaining low-risk family member(s). See NE: 7
  • If a family has several members on WIC and they all have different nutrition needs, consider offering them an individual appointment, so the educator can address their individual nutrition needs, OR schedule as a family and address each participant’s unique needs during one appointment.

For pregnant women, nutrition education contacts must be offered during each trimester of the pregnancy. Appropriate nutrition education topics for each trimester are highlighted in the guidelines below:

  • First trimester:
    • Drugs and alcohol
    • Benefits of Breastfeeding
    • And one additional topic from the following list:
      • Common pregnancy discomforts
      • Prenatal care and prenatal vitamins
      • Foods to avoid; food safety
      • Nutrients of special concern (i.e. protein, calcium, iron, and folic acid)
  • Second trimester:
    • Drugs and alcohol (only if this topic was not addressed in the first trimester)
    • Contemplating Breastfeeding
    • And one topic from the following list:
      • Normal weight gain
      • Healthy portions
      • Physical activity
      • Benefits of breastfeeding
      • Keeping teeth and gums healthy
  • Third trimester:
    • Drugs and alcohol (only if this topic was not addressed in the first or second trimester)
    • And one topic from the following list:
      • Benefits of breastfeeding
      • Breastfeeding resources at this clinic and the community
      • Positioning and Latching techniques for breastfeeding
      • What to expect during the third trimester (swelling, heartburn, varicose veins, spider veins and hemorrhoids)
      • Healthy snacks

For children, four nutrition education contacts must be offered during each twelve-month certification period. Suggested nutrition education topics for contact can be found in the guidelines below:

  • Select one topic from the list below at each contact
    • Picky eaters
    • Mealtime problems
    • Child-friendly snacks
    • Active play
    • Drinks for kids
    • Portion sizes
    • Family meals
    • Positive discipline
    • Active play
    • Healthy habits for life

For breastfeeding and postpartum women, four nutrition education contacts must be offered during each twelve-month certification period. Appropriate nutrition education topics for contact are highlighted in the guidelines below:

  • First contact: select one topic from the list below
    • Postpartum depression
    • Getting back in shape
    • Breastfeeding
    • Constipation
    • Eating on the run
    • Eating to feel good
  • Second contact: select one topic from the list below
    • Breastfeeding
    • Walking for health
    • Healthy snacks
    • Eating on the run
    • Eating to feel good
    • Healthy cooking tips
  • Third contact: select one topic from the list below
    • Walking for health
    • Healthy snacks
    • Eating on the run
    • Eating to feel good
    • Healthy cooking tips
  • Fourth contact: select one topic from the list below
    • Walking for health
    • Healthy snacks
    • Eating on the run
    • Eating to feel good
    • Healthy cooking tips

For infants, a nutrition education contact must be offered every quarter. Suggested nutrition education topics for contact can be found in the guidelines below:

  • Ages 0 – 3 months:
    • Breastfeeding
    • Is my baby getting enough to eat?
    • Bottle feeding
  • Ages 4 – 6 months:
    • Baby’s first foods
    • Making baby food
    • Baby’s growth
  • Ages 7 – 9 months:
    • Playing with your baby
    • Family meals
    • Introducing food variety
  • Ages 10 – 12 months:
    • Transitioning to whole milk
    • Self-feeding
    • Oral health

Non-participation in nutrition education:

WIC participants cannot be disqualified for non-participation in nutrition education. However, attempts to offer, schedule or re-schedule missed nutrition education contacts must be made and documented, retained on file in the participant’s records in a clear and consistent manner.